- Museum number
Aspertini sketch-book (so-called London I): 46th opening
left (1898,1123.3(45) verso) and right-hand page (1898,1123.3(46) recto) with pair of Pan statues carrying baskets on their heads (left side of opening); a battle scene of Greeks and Amazons (left and right side of opening); Pan dancing with four male and female followers of Bacchus (upper part of left and right side of opening) c. 1535
Pen and brown (two shades) ink, brown wash, over black chalk, heightened with white, on vellum prepared with a brown wash
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 184 millimetres (each page)
- Curator's comments
- As stated by Bober (1957, p. 74 and see also p. 48 - sheet erroneously cited as 44v instead of 45v) the figures of Pan on the left-hand page derive from statues formerly in the collection della Valle in Rome (later della Valle Rustici) and now in the Capitoline Museums (Bober-Rubinstein 1986, no. 75, an Aspertini drawing mentioned without specification on p. 111; for a drawing by Heemskerck of the statues in a della Valle courtyard see www.census.de, ID 20045). The two statues had also been later recorded around 1540 by Francisco da Hollanda (see E. Tormo, 'Os desenhos das antigualhas qui vio Francisco d'Ollanda', Madrid 1940 and see www.census.de, ID 53777) and it is interesting to note that he illustrates them together with the statue of Marsia that can be seen in Heemskerck's recording of the della Valle's so called 'hortus pensilis' arranged by the Florentine sculptor Lorenzetto from the 1520s in the other palace of cardinal Andrea (later palazzo della Valle Capranica). Da Hollanda's drawings of the della Valle statues are all inscribed as 'IN DOMO CAR. DELLA VALLE', despite the latter had died in 1534. It is possible that da Hollanda simply included on the same sheet statues coming from two different della Valle palaces, or that by the time he made his recordings (1540c.), the statues had moved from one courtyard to the other.
For contemporary images of the famous hortus pensilis see: A. Nesselrath, 'Drei Zeichnungen von Maarten van Heemskerck', in "Ars naturam adiuvans. Festschrift für M. Winner", Maintz a. Rh., 1996, pp. 252ss, abbs. 1-4, and for Cock's engraving after Heemskerk's see www.census.de, ID 25201, keeping in mind that Cock's image is not entirely faithful to Heemskerck drawing. Francisco da Hollanda's own recording of one of the courtyard's side walls a few years later, shows us a different setting for the statues, so it seems that these were moved about (see E.Tormo, "Os desenhos das antigualhas que vio Fancisco d'Ollanda ...", Madrid 1940, ff 28v and see further comment under 1898,1123.3.45).
For other drawings in this sketch-book after statues or reliefs in the della Valle Collection see also 1898,1123.3.3; 1898,1123.3.5; 1898,1123.3.7; 1898,1123.3.13; 1898,1123.3.16; 1898,1123.3.36; 1898,1123.38; 1898,1123.3.47 and 1898,1123.3.48 [Bober 2v-3, 4v-5, 7, 12v-13, 15v-16, 37, 38v-39, 47v, 48v]. According to Brugnoli one of the Pan statues is the model for the bearded herm in the Sala di Marte of Castello Isolani in Minerbio (Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, p. 202 and Brugnoli 1983, p. 87). The Pan on the right is also found in a drawing by Aspertini in the Uffizi, but with the arms reintegrated (Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, cat. dis. 87v, pp. 302-3). Bober observes also (p. 75) that the figures of the upper tier of the right-hand page are Pan, a dancing satyr and a Maenad, a flute player and a kroupeziast from a relief now in the Louvre (Bober 1957, fig. 97; see www.census.de, ID 16610). Aspertini had already drawn them in the Codex Wolfegg on f. 30v, lower tier (Schweikhart 1986, p. 76). From the figure on the top right derives that of the woodcutter on the right of Aspertini's 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, 59 fig. 39, 152-3, n. 15 and 241). The battling figures of the lower tier on both pages derive from an Amazonomachy sarcophagus in the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome (Bober-Rubinstein 1986, no. 140, p. 177, see www.census.de, ID 16606). The sarcophagus appears also in the Codex Wolfegg on ff. 26v-27 (Schweikhart 1986, pp. 53, 68).
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London, 1957, f. 45v-46, pp. 13, 74-5; M.V. Brugnoli , 'Note sulla cultura figurativa e cronologica nella maturità dell'Aspertini', "Paragone", 401-403, 1983, p. 87; P.P. Bober-R. Rubinstein, 'Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture', New York, 1986, under no. 140 (lower tier); G. Schweikhart, 'Der Wolfegg Codex. Zeichnungen nach der Antike von Amico Aspertini', London, 1986, pp. 52-3, 68, 76; M. Faietti-D. Scaglietti Kelescian, 'Amico Aspertini', Modena, 1995, p. 202 and under cat. dis. 87v.
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