- Museum number
Aspertini sketch-book (so-called London I): 49th opening
left (1898,1123.3(48) verso) and inside back cover of sketch-book (1898,1123.3(49) recto) with Hercules and the Nemean Lion; a horse attacked by lions; funerary inscription of Sextus Vibius Gallus (left-hand page); one Greek and various latin inscriptions (right-hand page) c. 1535
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk, on vellum partly rubbed with black chalk
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 184 millimetres (each page)
- Curator's comments
- Left-hand page
'Hercules and the Nemean Lion' derives from a relief today in Villa Medici in Rome, but previously in the della Valle Collection (Bober-Rubinstein 1986, no. 136, p. 172; see www.census.de, ID 16490); the subject is revisited by Aspertini in a drawing in the Uffizi (Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, cat. dis. 76, pp. 291-3). 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; 1898,1123.3; 1898,1123.3. 45 and 1898,1123.3.47 [Bober 2v-3, 4v-5, 7, 12v-13, 15v-16, 37, 38v-39, 45v, 47v]. The 'Lion attacking a horse' is from a Hellenistic group today in the Capitoline Museum in Rome (Bober-Rubinstein, no. 185, p. 219; www.census.de, ID 23697). The latter group has been drawn several times by Aspertini: the earliest examples represent the group as the artist saw it on the Capitol Hill, on the staircase of the Palazzo Senatorio known as 'scale del leone' or 'scale della giustizia' (see Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, catt. dis. 4 and 8 -Parma Codex page 6 -, pp. 220-1 and 223). Later drawings like this one in the British Museum represent an imaginary restoration of the group, where the horse bites back with the group in reverse of the original. A similar solution can be found in a print by Adamo Scultori (B. 107, see BM inv. 1856,0712.1064). The reintegrated subject appears also among the monochromes painted by Aspertini on the left side of the entrance of the chapel of Sant'Agostino in San Frediano in Lucca, but infact the group was actually restored only in 1594 by Ruggero Bescapé (see Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, p. 40 and under catt. dis. 4,17v, 87v, pp. 220-1, 234-5 and 302-3; and Faietti 2004, pp. 151-2, n. 128). As noted by Bober the epigraph on the left is a funerary inscription of Sextus Vibius Gallus ('Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum', Berlin 1863-1936, III, pt. 1, no. 454) from Mytilene and is copied from sylloges based on Cyriacus of Ancona.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London, 1957, f. 48v, p. 76; P.P. Bober-R. Rubinstein, 'Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture', New York, 1986; M. Faietti- D. Scaglietti Kelescian , 'Amico Aspertini', Modena, 1995, under catt. dis. 4, 17v, 76 and 87; M. Faietti, "Paradigma di regole e di sregolatezze. L'antico a Bologna tra Quattrocento e Cinquecento", in 'Schede Umanistiche', 2004/1, pp. 124, 151-2, n. 128.
The back cover shows one greek and various Latin inscriptions, including three from Luna (Carrara) and three from Lucca ('Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum', Berlin 1863-1936, pt. 1, nos. 1315, 1346, 1378, 1531, 1534, 1539). Under the vertical flap "carte n.o quaranta/ et otto" and on the same flap, possibly by the same hand, "l ultima carta a lato?/ .. ercole et il ... / n o 48". Piece of paper inserted under vertical flap in back cover inscribed : "S. 1535 in festo S. Michaelis terminato" (see also introduction under 1898,1123.3.1). According to Bober at least some of the classical inscriptions on this end page of the sketchbook were borrowed from the work of the epigraphers, although the three coming from Lucca, with particularly inept readings, may derive from personal notes made earlier during Amico's activity in that city. For other drawing in which Aspertini has made use of Latin and Greek inscriptions see Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, catt. dis. 6, 7 and 8, pp. 222ff.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London, 1957, back cover, pp. 13 and 76; M. Faietti- D. Scaglietti Kelescian , 'Amico Aspertini', Modena, 1995, under cat. dis. 7.
For a general introduction to the sketchbook see 1898,1123.3.1
- Not on display
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- Prints and Drawings
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