Copy after Polidoro da Caravaggio

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Copy after Polidoro da Caravaggio
approximately 1495-approximately 1543,
A Naval Battle, after the frescoes at Palazzo Gaddi, Rome
ca. 1550-1600
Pen and brown ink and wash.
Gift of Michael Flack and Abigail Sloane.

Watermark: Eagle in small circle surmounted by crown cntered on chain line. Watermark (transmitted infrared), eagle, circle, crown. 449856wm_2023_125_WM_transmIR
The frescoes that Polidoro da Caravaggio painted on the facades of Roman palaces in the 1520s became a genuine academy of art, serving as models for generations of young Italian and foreign artists studying in Rome. The central frieze on the palace, stretching across the entire façade, depicted the arrival of the Etruscans in Latium, with a naval battle and a depiction of the river god Tiber at far right (the part copied here). While the draftsman responsible for this copy has not yet been identified, the sheet is closely related to the famous Hume Album of drawings after Polidoro, now in the Fondation Custodia, Paris (see Byam Shaw, The Italian Drawings of the Frits Lugt Collection (Paris, 1983), vol. 2. It bears the same watermark as those sheets, and the same numbering found at the lower edge of some of them (though a higher number than any of the Lugt sheets, which stop at 77; the Lugt sheets are, moreover, not in numerical order in that album, suggesting that they were rearranged before being glued to those pages). Further research is needed on the present sheet, to determine whether it may have been part of the Hume-Lugt set earlier in its history.


At lower edge, in pen and brown ink: 144

Associated names: 

Flack, Michael, former owner.
Sloane, Abigail, former owner.