- Museum number
Design for the print 'The Practice of the Visual Arts'; a sculptor working on Roma with the river god of the Tiber and the wolf suckling Romulus and Remus at her feet, a painter working on a fresco of a battle at left, a man dissecting a suspended figure and three boys drawing from a skeleton at right, a man modelling a horse at centre and other drawing at a table at left; formerly in the 1637 album containing 279 miscellaneous drawings. 1573
Pen and brown ink with brown wash, heightened with white; indented lines
Turner, Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, London, 1986
The scene may be briefly described as follows. Top centre a sculptor on a high pedestal is at work on a group of a seated Victory with a river god and the wolf with Romulus and Remus at her feet. To the left a painter is at work on a large fresco of a battle. In the foreground on the right are an old man dissecting a figure suspended from a rope and three boys drawing a skeleton, likewise suspended. In the centre is a man modelling a horse, and to the left two men are seated at a bench on which is a statuette of Venus, the man seated in front appears to be engraving on a block.
- Production date
Height: 436 millimetres
Width: 293 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The drawing was engraved in reverse by Cornelis Cort with the date 1578 and a dedication by the publisher, Lorenzo Vaccari, to Giacomo Boncompagni. For an impression see Ii,5.110. On Cort's engraving, Stradanus's preparatory drawings and several Italian copies, see G. Wolf-Heidegger and A.M. Cetto, 'Die anatomische Sektion in bildlicher Darstellung', 1967, pp.171-172. In an earlier Italian print called 'The academy of Baccio Bandinelli', engraved by Enea Vico after Baccio Bandinelli, apprentice draftsmen are also surrounded by bits and pieces of human skeletons, which were apparently used as drawing examples; see J. Spike (ed.), 'The illustrated Bartsch', vol.30, 1985, no.49.
Literature: J.C.J. Bierens de Haan, 'L'oeuvre gravé de Cornelis Cort, graveur hollandais, 1533-1578', 1948, p.199; M. Sellink, '"As a guide to the highest learning": an Antwerp drawing book dated 1589', in Simiolus 21 (1992), p.46, note 12; A. Baroni and M. Sellink, 'Stradanus 1523-1605: Court artist of the Medici', exh.cat. Groeningemuseum Brugge 2008-2009, Turnhout, 2012, pp.227-228, cat.no.20.
Turner, Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, London, 1986:
The drawing was engraved in reverse by Cornelis Cort with the date 1578 and a dedication by the publisher Laurentius Vaccarius, to Jacobus Boncompagnus in Rome. In the engraving the various groups are elucidated by inscriptions. For example, the book of the man at the table is labelled "ARCHITECTURA" and the sheet of paper in front of the other man "Typorum aeneorum Incisoria", and the seat of the boy drawing from the skeleton "Tyrones picturae".
Literature: A. E. Popham, Catalogue of Drawings by Dutch and Flemish Artists preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. Vol. V. Dutch and Flemish Drawings of the XV and XVI Centuries, London, 1932, p. 182, no. 1; G. Thiem, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, viii, 1958, (1), p. 96, n. 36; Primato del disegno, no. 523.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1980, Palazzo Strozzi, '16thC Florentine Drawings', no. 523
1986, BM, '16thC Florentine Drawings', no. 144
1992 Oct-Dec, Norwich, UEA, Florentine Drawings
1996 Oct-Jan, Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, no. 39
1997 Oct-Nov, London, Royal College of Art, 'The Quick and the Dead'
1998 Jan-Mar, Warwick, Mead Gallery, 'The Quick and the Dead'
1998 Mar-May, Leeds, City Art Gallery, 'The Quick and the Dead'
1998 Jun-Sep, Geneva, Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, 'The Quick and the Dead'
2001/2 Sep- Jan, BM, 'The Print in Italy, 1550-1620', no.4
2008/9 Oct-Jan, Brugge, Groeningemuseum, Stradanus (1523-1607)
2015 Jun-Sep, London, Sir John Soane Museum, 'In Pursuit of the Classical Ideal: Artists and the Antique'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: T,10.2