After Bartolommeo Neroni, called il Riccio

Exemplifying Renaissance stage design practice, this orderly and symmetrical view of an idealized street recedes toward a single fixed point in the distance. This drawing copies Neroni’s original design for the comedy L’Ortensio, written and staged by the Sienese Accademia degli Intronati in 1561 to celebrate a visit from the city’s new ruler, Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici. The architectural enclosure featuring allegorical figures in niches is the earliest-known depiction of a proscenium arch, the frame through which the audience views the stage. Around 1589, Neroni’s influential design circulated as a woodcut reproduction by Andrea Andreani. The Morgan’s drawing dates from this moment, attesting to the enduring interest in Neroni’s design decades after its conception.

After Bartolommeo Neroni, called il Riccio (ca. 1505–1571)
Stage Design, from L’Ortensio (1561), ca. 1589
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash
Gift of Mrs. Donald M. Oenslager; 1982.75:438