Foundation of Orbetello
Inscribed at left, on altar, in pen and brown ink, by the artist, COL[ONIA] / VRBE / TELL[I].
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk; incised for transfer; squared in black chalk
10 3/8 x 15 5/16 inches (264 x 391 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1973
In early 1564 Taddeo received the prestigious commission from Cardinal Ranuccio Farnese, brother of Cardinal Alessandro, for frescoes in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome's most important sixteenth-century palace and the present site of the French embassy. He was to complete a fresco cycle in the Sala dei Fasti Farnesiani left unfinished at the death of Francesco Salviati in 1563. This drawing is a study for the scene representing the (fictitious) founding of the town of Orbetello in 1100 by Pietro Farnese, captain of the papal cavalry. Orbetello, built on a sandspit on the flat coast of Tuscany and enclosed by two lagoons, appears in the background at upper left.