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Rome After Raphael
January 22 through May 9, 2010

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Enea Vico (Parma 1523–1567 Ferrara)
River God After the Antique (Nile), early 1540s
Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk
Inscribed at lower left, in pen and brown ink, with the artist's monogram, Æ.V.
7 1/16 x 12 1/16 inches (178 x 306 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910; IV, 50

This drawing is after an antique statue found in 1513 near the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, and subsequently placed in the Belvedere sculpture court in the Vatican by Pope Leo X. Unlike its companion, the Tiber, this colossal marble of the River Nile is still in the Vatican. The small children cavorting on and about the figure of the river god symbolize the fertility brought to the surrounding area by the flooding of the Nile. In combination with the cornucopia, they transform the image into an allegory of fecundity.


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Enea Vico (Parma 1523–1567 Ferrara)
River God After the Antique (Tiber), early 1540s
Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk
Inscribed at lower right, in pen and brown ink, with the artist's monogram, Æ.V.
7 1/6 x 12 1/16 inches (178 x 306 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910; IV, 50a

Active in Rome during the early 1540s, the engraver and antiquarian Vico may well have made this study and its companion, of the river god Nile, as designs for prints. At the time, the pair of colossal antique marble statues were displayed in the Belvedere courtyard as part of the papal collection of antiquities; both served as fountains.

When the Tiber, now preserved in the Louvre, Paris, was discovered in 1512 near the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Pope Julius II immediately had it brought to the Vatican. The statue was much admired for the apparent ease with which the figure leans back against the she wolf.


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Daniele da Volterra (Daniele Ricciarelli, ca. 1509–1566)
Kneeling Figure Seen from Behind, 1550–53
Black chalk
12 7/8 x 9 7/8 inches (327 x 252 mm)
Purchased on the Edwin H. Herzog Fund and the Lois and Walter C. Baker Fund, 2001; 2001.39

Drawings by Daniele da Volterra, one of the foremost Roman collaborators of Michelangelo, are rare. This figure is a preparatory study for the apostle in the right foreground of Daniele's fresco The Assumption of the Virgin on the altar wall of the chapel of Lucrezia della Rovere (niece of Pope Julius II), in Santissima Trinità dei Monti, Rome. Daniele was assisted on this project by a number of artists, mostly from the circle of Perino del Vaga, including Pellegrino Tibaldi and Marco Pino, who were assigned scenes on the vault and lateral chapel walls.


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Federico Zuccaro (Sant'Angelo in Vado 1542/3-1609 Ancona)
Head and Shoulders of Two Young Boys and Separate Studies of a Right and a Left Arm
Black and red chalk
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1974; 1974.24
Photography by Schecter Lee.

Federico was the younger brother of Taddeo, who proved the greatest influence on his work. In 1568 Federico was commissioned to paint two altarpieces for the Cathedral of Orvieto, including Christ Healing the Blind Man, preserved in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Orvieto. It was not until 1570 that Federico traveled to Orvieto to fulfill the commission, painting both altarpieces in oil on slate.

This drawing comprises preparatory studies for the two young boys seen jostling among the crowd of spectators in the altarpiece Christ Healing the Blind Man. It was executed in a robust combination of black and red chalk, a technique perfected by the artist.


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Taddeo Zuccaro (Sant
Foundation of Orbetello
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk; incised for transfer; squared in black chalk
Inscribed at left, on altar, in pen and brown ink, by the artist, COL[ONIA] / VRBE / TELL[I].
10 3/8 x 15 5/16 inches (264 x 391 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1973; 1973.28
Photography by Graham Haber, 2009

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.


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Taddeo Zuccaro (Sant'Angelo in Vado 1529-1566 Rome)
St. John the Baptist Preaching
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white gouache, on blue paper; on a mount made by Giorgio Vasari
Inscribed on mount in a cartouche, in pen and brown ink, by Vasari, TADDEO ZUCHERO / DA S. AGNOLO. / PITTORE
13 1/16 x 9 3/8 inches (337 x 236 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1973; 1973.26

According to Vasari, Taddeo's father sent him to Rome on his own when he was fourteen years old. There he was employed in various workshops and studied independently, particularly the works of Raphael. His earliest independent commission dates from 1553, when he collaborated with Prospero Fontana on the decoration (mostly destroyed) of Pope Julius III's villa outside the Porta del Popolo in Rome.

The purpose of this composition is not certain. Considering, however, that the verso relates to a fresco in San Marcello in Corso, it may represent a rejected study for one of the scenes there. The elaborate mount, which has probably been slightly trimmed, is a page from Vasari's album of drawings, the Libro dei Disegni.

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