- Museum number
Aspertini sketch-book (so-called London I): 31st opening
left (1898,1123.3(30) verso) and right-hand page (1898,1123.3(31) recto) with scene from Trajan's Column: Roman soldiers constructing a camp c. 1535
Pen and brown ink, over black chalk, on vellum (the surface partly rubbed with black chalk)
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 184 millimetres (each page)
- Curator's comments
- This and next sheet derive from scenes XVIII-XX/42-46 of Trajan's Column (K. Lehmann-Hartleben, 'Die Trajanssäule', Berlin and Leipzig, 1926 and Settis et al., 'La colonna Traiana', Turin, 1988, nos. 21-22). The figure kneeling at the bottom centre of this sheet has been used by Aspertini in the fresco of San Frediano changing the course of the river Serchio in the chapel of Sant'Agostino in the church of San Frediano in Lucca (Faietti-Scaglietti 1995 pp. 40, 56 fig. 35, 153, n.15, and see also Bober 1957, pp. 30-32, 35-37, 67). Bober (id, pp. 36-7) attributes to Aspertini the relief of the Building of the Ark (one of the scenes of the lateral doors of the basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, today in the Museo of San Petronio (Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, fig. 43, p. 63) because of the similarities with the present drawing. Today the relief tends to be attributed to Properzia de Rossi, but it is probable that the latter was inspired by one of Aspertini's ideas (see Agosti-Farinella 1984, p. 405, n.8 and Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, p. 62). Agosti and Farinella believe that this drawing was copied from an engraving of Raphael's circle (Bartsch XIV, 205) rather than from the Column and indeed they think that Aspertini did not base himself at all on the Column for the London sketch-book, but on his previous Codex Wolfegg and other artists' sources (see also ff. 1898,1123.3.25 and 1898,1123.29.*). See also Settis, cit., fig. 79, p. 574. For other sheets with scenes from Trajan's Column see ff. 1898,1123.3.2, 1898,1123.3.5,1898,1123.3.6, 1898,1123.3.8, 1898,1123.3.10, 1898,1123.3.23-25, 1898,1123.3.27-34, 1898,1123.3.41 [Bober 5v-6, 7v-8, 9v-10, 22v-25, 26v-35, 41v-42]; and Codex Wolfegg ff. 9, 9v, 18v, 19 (base), 22v, 37v-38, 38v-39 (see G. Schweikhart, 'Der Wolfegg Codex. Zeichnungen nach der Antike von Amico Aspertini', London, 1986). For general comments on Aspertini and Trajan's Column see Bober 1957, pp. 30-2, Agosti and Farinella 1984, pp. 403-6 and Settis et al, cit., pp. 556-61, 572-4.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London, 1957, f. 30v-31, p. 67; G. Agosti-V. Farinella, 'Calore del marmo. Pratica e Tipologia delle deduzioni iconografiche', in "Memoria dell'antico nell'arte italiana", a cura di S. Settis, I, 'L'uso dei classici', Turin, 1984; p. 406, n.11; P. Bober - R. Rubinstein, 'Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture', New York, 1986, under no. 159; M. Faietti - D. Scaglietti Kelescian, 'Amico Aspertini', Modena, 1995, pp. 40, 153, n.15.
For images of the codex Wolfegg see www.census.de, ID 60826
For a general introduction to the sketchbook see 1898,1123.3.1
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number