Justice and Fortitude Flanking the Arms of Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini, ca. 1596-98
Inscribed on banderole at right, in pen and brown ink, VIII P[ontifex] M[aximus].
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1979
The putto in the drawing is seated on a globe decorated with shorthand notations for the stars and diagonal band that constitute the Aldobrandini coat of arms. In all likelihood, the drawing is an early study for the decoration of the Sala Clementina in the Vatican Palace, executed around 1596 to 1598 by the brothers Cherubino and Giovanni Alberti for Pope Clement VIII. This feat of illusionistic painting, prefiguring the Baroque, is considered the Alberti's most important work.