Amico Aspertini

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Amico Aspertini
1474-1552
Crucifixion
ca. 1501-1504
Black chalk, reinforced in some areas with graphite, on light brown paper.
15 x 11 inches (382 x 278 mm)
Gift of János Scholz.
1981.18
Inscription: 

Inscribed at upper right, in pen and black ink, "TI".

Provenance: 
Johann Peter Nepomuk Geiger (1805-1880), Vienna (according to János Scholz records); Benno Geiger, Vienna; probably his sale, Venice, 5 January 1952; Cassini, Venice (according to János Scholz records); Hans M. Calmann (1899-1982), London (according to János Scholz records); purchased in London in 1953 by János Scholz (1903-1993), New York (see Lugt Suppl. 2933b).
Description: 

The purpose of the drawing, which is thought to date from the artist’s early maturity, ca. 1501-4, remains unknown. The stylistic and compositional proximity to a monochrome panel of the same subject, formerly in the collection of J.C. Robinson, London, was first noted by Venturoli in 1969, and has been cited several times since. Scaglietti (1969, 29-30) proposed a date of the early 1510s for the Robinson Crucifixion, which is cited by Faietti and Scaglietti Kelescian as too late for the Morgan drawing.

Anna Tambini recently proposed that the Morgan drawing is a study by Amico’s elder brother Guido Aspertini for a fresco of the Crucifixion that he is known to have painted beneath the portico of San Pietro, Bologna, in the period 1486-91. She further suggested that the Robinson panel is Amico’s later drawing of his brother’s fresco. This theory has, however, generally not been accepted, and the Morgan drawing considered to be sixteenth rather than fifteenth century.

As already noted by Scaglietti, the painting reveals the influence of northern art, especially that of Dürer, as well as Ercole de’ Roberti’s fresco of this subject in the Garganelli Chapel, San Pietro, Bologna (destroyed in early seventeenth century).

Bibliography: 

Oakland and elsewhere 1957, no. 5; Notre Dame 1964, no. 4; Venturoli 1969, 425, note 51; Notre Dame 1967, no. 4; Ottowa 1982, 43, no. 2; Tambini 1991, 25-26; Kügelgen 1992, 443; Faietti and Scaglietti Kelescian 1995, 244-246, no. 29; Gottardo 2005, 242-243, no. 6.
Murano, Michelangelo. Venetian Drawings from the Collection János Scholz. Venice : N. Pozza, 1957, no. 5, repr.
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981-1983. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, p. 233.

Notes: 

Watermark: none visible through lining.

Associated names: 

Geiger, Peter Johann Nepomuk, 1805-1880, former owner.
Geiger, Benno, 1882-1965, former owner.
Cassini, former owner.
Calmann, Hans M., 1899-1982, former owner.
Scholz, János, former owner.

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