Giuseppe Cesari, called Cavalier d’Arpino

Giuseppe Cesari, called Cavalier d’Arpino (Italian, 1568–1640)
Allegorical Figure of Fame, ca. 1590
Graphite and red chalk, heightened with white gouache
The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Gift of Mrs. Alfred H. Barr, Jr., 1986

Behind their simple appearance, Mariette’s mounts conceal elaborate constructions. Each mat consists of a series of at least four or five overlapping sheets of paper. The bottom layer is typically made of thin cream cardboard, on top of which are laid one or two intermediary sheets that generally consist of recycled engravings. The drawing is glued onto these sheets with a border of reserved paper left around it. The topmost layer consists of strips of blue paper framing the drawing. Mariette carefully studied the presentation of each sheet, and his mats have many subtle variations.