Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Study for the Age of Bronze

Artist:
Pietro da Cortona (Pietro Berrettini) (Italian, Cortona 1596–1669 Rome)
Date:
1637
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, over black chalk
Dimensions:
9 3/16 x 6 3/4in. (23.3 x 17.2cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1964
Accession Number:
64.48.2
Not on view
This rapid sketch of a Roman military triumph was intended for a fresco painting alluding to the theme of the "Age of Bronze" in the Camera della Stufa of the Palazzo Pitti in Florence that Cortona began in 1637 for Ferdinando II de' Medici. According to the account of the early history of the world given in Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Age of Bronze was thought to have been bellicose in spirit: "...ready to fly to arms savage, but not yet impious." In keeping with this Ovidian theme, the composition here is dominated at the right by an enthroned general, who from a high throne leans forward to crown the victorious soldiers of the Roman legions approaching from the left; on the lower right, nude prisoners dejectedly crouch in bondage. The Museum's vast collection of drawings by the Baroque master Pietro da Cortona includes a second study for the "Age of Bronze" (see inv. no. 1972.118.248)
Professor John Isaacs (London); his sale, Sotheby's, London, February 27, 1964, part of lot 64
Morgan Library & Museum, New York. "Drawings from New York Collections, II. The Seventeenth Century in Italy," February 23, 1967–April 22, 1967.

Pace Wildestein Gallery, New York. "Gods & Heroes. Baroque Images of Antiquity," October 30, 1968–January 4, 1969.

Walter Vitzthum "Pietro da Cortona's Drawings for the Pitti Palace at the Uffizi." The Burlington Magazine. vol. 107, October. London, 1965, fig. no. 36, p. 526., ill.

Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. II: The Seventeenth Century in Italy. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 1967, cat. no. 62, ill.

Eunice Williams Gods and Heroes, Baroque Images of Antiquity. A loan exhibition from North American collections for the benefit of the archaeological exploration of Sardi, October 30, 1968 - January 4, 1969. Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York, 1968, cat. no. 12, fig. no. pl. 8, ill.

Malcolm Campbell Pietro da Cortona at the Pitti Palace, A Study of the Planetary Rooms and Related Projects. Princeton, 1977, pp. 49, 53-55, 268, no. 45, fig. 17.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 17th century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, cat. no. 138, fig. no. 138, pp. 107, 109, ill.

Annamaria Petrioli Tofani "Un disegno di Pietro da Cortona per Palazzo Pitti." Itinerari: contributi alla storia dell'arte in memoria di Maria Luisa Ferrari, vol. 1.. Florence, 1979, pp. 124-25.

Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò Pietro da Cortona e il disegno. Exh. cat., Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Accademia di San Luca, Calcografia, Rome. Milan, 1997, pp. 24, 29, 37 (n. 54), 148-49, fig. 14.

Roberto Contini, Francesco Solinas Una gloria europea: Pietro da Cortona a Firenze (1637-1647) Exh. cat., Casa Buonarroti, Florence. Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), 2010, p. 107, under no. 12 (entry by Roberto Contini).

Xavier F. Salomon "A further drawing for Pietro da Cortona’s "Age of Bronze." Burlington Magazine. vol. 153, March 2011, fig. no. 47, p. 170, ill.



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