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Rome After Raphael
January 22 through May 9, 2010

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Raphael (1483–1520)
Cardinal Aenes Sylvius Piccolomini Presents Eleanor of Portugal to Emperor Frederick III, ca. 1502–3
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white gouache (partially lost and retouched), over black chalk and stylus indentations. Substantial losses and severely abraded.
Inscribed, possibly by the artist, near upper edge, left of center, in pen and brown ink, Questa e la quinta [st]oria de Papa [Pio].
20 7/8 x 15 3/8 inches (531 x 392 mm)
Bequest of Miss Alice Tully; 1996.9
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This large-scale finished compositional study, or modello, is preparatory for one of the series of ten frescoes by Bernardo Pinturicchio commissioned by the archbishop of Siena, Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini in 1502 for the library adjacent to Siena cathedral. The frescoes illustrate events from the life of the cardinal's distinguished uncle, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who reigned as Pope Pius II. Three further drawings by the young Raphael attest to his substantial involvement in the designs for the Piccolomini cycle.

Giulio Romano (Rome 1499–1546 Mantua)
St. Jerome and St. Augustine
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white gouache, on pink toned paper; squared in red chalk
10 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches (273 x 201 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1973; 1973.24
Photography by Graham Haber, 2009

Though highly finished and squared for transfer, the drawing is not related to any of Giulio's extant works, nor can it be identified with any commission for a lost painting or fresco. St. Jerome,who kneels at left, is identified by his attributes, the cardinal's hat and lion; he is accompanied by a figure who has traditionally been accepted as St. Augustine, another of the four Latin Fathers of the Church. They appear to be witnessing a sacred event at the center of an altarpiece. The drawing is thought to have been made in Rome before Giulio's departure for Mantua in 1524.

Attributed to Lorenzo Sabatini (Bologna ca. 1530–1576 Rome)
A King as Builder of a City, 1565–80
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white gouache, over traces of red chalk, on blue paper; upper corners made up
1 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches (349 x 209 mm)
Purchased as the Gift of the Fellows, 1959; 1959.11

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.

Francesco Salviati and workshop (Florence 1510–1563 Rome)
Design for a Casket with Figure of Prudence
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk; several vertical and horizontal ruled guide lines in black chalk
Inscribed in upper right corner, in pen and brown ink, 18-(?).
10 1/16 x 16 13/16 inches (257 x 427 mm)
Purchased as the gift of the Fellows, 1964; 1964.3

The casket, the imagery of which evokes typically female virtues, probably was designed for a female patron. The two oval vignettes contrast the frugality and modesty of the woman shown at her needlework beside a simple basket, with the luxurious possessions of her companion, who sits amid piles of coins and lavish jewelry. Prudence, identifiable by her usual attributes of a snake and mirror, reclines at the top.

Salviati surrounded himself with a group of collaborators, themselves excellent draftsmen, who were capable of perfectly rendering the master's style. They may have assisted on this sheet.

Francesco Salviati (Florence 1510–1563 Rome)
Emblematic Design
Pen and brown ink, brown wash
Illegible inscription in the banderole, in pen and brown ink, by the artist
7 1/2 x 7 3/8 inches (191 x 187 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1979; 1979.58

This drawing is a design by Salviati for a device consisting of a moth approaching a flame emanating from a fantastic animal. The lamp consists of a double-headed horse and a base in the shape of a human foot. Though lacking a decipherable motto, the impresa (emblem) seems to convey a call to prudence: the moth is attracted by the light of the lamp but must be careful so as not to be burned.

With the rediscovery of classical epigrams, the use of emblems became increasingly popular in sixteenth-century art. They usually consisted of a pictorial image imbued with symbolic meaning, a brief motto, and a longer, explanatory text.

Giovanni de Vecchi (1536-1615)
A Scene from Ancient History, early 1590s
Pen and brown ink, violet wash, over black chalk; squared for transfer
Inscribed on old mount, at lower center, in pen and brown ink, Camillo Procaccini.
9 1/4 x 6 1/8 inches (235 x 155 mm)
Joseph F. McCrindle collection, Morgan Library & Museum, 2009; 2009.330

The subject of the drawing remains a puzzle: two children, observed by an elegant woman, appear before a seated ruler. They peer into an object, possibly a helmet, while a man at right studies a slip of paper. Are these two child martyrs selecting a name by taking an inscribed piece of paper out of a helmet? This drawing is executed in the artist's typical free handling, in which his favored violet wash wraps the subject in veils of color.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.