A King as Builder of a City, 1565–80
Purchased as the Gift of the Fellows, 1959
The artist of this luminous study remains unknown, although both Lorenzo Sabatini and Orazio Samacchini (1532–1577), who had come to Rome in 1573 and 1563, respectively, to work on the decoration of the Sala Regia in the Vatican Palace, have been plausibly suggested.
Presumably this work is from a series representing great builders of antiquity. A king stands as if on a threshold before a backdrop of a church at left and a construction site—possibly a tower—at right. He may represent King Nimrod, founder of Babylon, whose followers, according to the Old Testament, constructed the Tower of Babel.