Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Two Monks Looking up at a Dragon in a Tower

Artist:
Anonymous, Italian, Tuscan, early 15th century
Date:
1500–1550
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, on vellum
Dimensions:
7 3/8 x 5 1/2in. (18.7 x 13.9cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971
Accession Number:
1972.118.260
Not on view
This scene, loosely sketched in its most essential elements, may allude to Petrus de Cruce's real or imaginary journey to two popular holy sites located on the pilgrimage route between Damascus and Beirut: the holy mountain where Noah built his ark and the place outside Beirut where Saint George supposedly slayed the dragon that was devouring the local youth. On a rocky outcrop at the upper left is a wooden structure with one window, meant to represent Noah's ark. In the foreground, Petrus de Cruce (Pierre de la Croix, fl. Late 13th century) is shown standing at the foot of a tower next to an unidentified lay figure holding a pilgrim's staff and pointing toward a dragon. The image might refer to the tower where, according to popular belief, the dragon's victims awaited their fate.

This illustration is one of two from the same roll that may be attributed to the young Florentine artist Fra Angelico, both being markedly distinct in figural style and technique. (The second, formerly in the Koenigs Collection in Amsterdam, is now on deposit at the Pushkin Museum, Moscow.) Despite their less-finished quality, both works stand out for their spatial clarity, linear fluidity, and confident use of simple uninterrupted pen strokes to articulate volume and structure.
L. Böhler (Lucerne); Donor: Walter C. Baker
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Walter C. Baker Collection of Drawings," June 2, 1960–September 4, 1960.

Bernard Berenson, Luisa Vertova I disegni dei pittori fiorentini. 3 vols., Revised and enlarged. Milan, 1961, p. 18, no. 1391 F-3 (as School of Lorenzo Monaco), ill.

Claus Virch Master Drawings in the Collection of Walter C. Baker. New York, 1962, cat. no. 2, pp. 13-14.

Bernhard Degenhart, Annegrit Schmitt Corpus der Italienischen Zeichnungen 1300-1450: Teil I: Süd-und Mittelitalien. Vol. 1 of 4, Berlin, 1968, cat. no. I-2, no. 179, fig. no. I-4, pl. 200b.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, cat. no. 284, fig. no. 284, p. 283, ill.



Related Objects

Compositional Sketches for the Virgin Adoring the Christ Child, with and without the Infant St. John the Baptist; Diagram of a Perspectival Projection (recto); Slight Doodles (verso)

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, Vinci 1452–1519 Amboise) Date: 1480–85 Medium: Silverpoint, partly reworked by the artist with pen and dark brown ink on pink prepared paper; lines ruled with metalpoint (recto); pen and brown ink (verso) Accession: 17.142.1 On view in:The Met Floor 3

View of Heidelberg

Artist: Jan Brueghel the Elder (Netherlandish, Brussels 1568–1625 Antwerp) Date: ca. 1588–89 Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and blue and brown washes, heightened with white; framing lines in pen and brown ink Accession: 1995.15 On view in:Not on view

The Bearer of the Banner of the Canton Glarus

Artist: Urs Graf (Swiss, Solothurn ca. 1485–1529/30 Basel) Date: 1521 Medium: Pen and brown ink Accession: 2003.323 On view in:Not on view

Samson and Delilah

Artist: Albrecht Altdorfer (German, Regensburg ca. 1480–1538 Regensburg) Date: 1506 Medium: Pen and black ink with white heightening on brown prepared paper Accession: 06.1051.2 On view in:Not on view

Lucretia

Artist: Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome) Date: 1508–10 Medium: Pen and brown ink over black chalk, partially incised with a stylus (recto); rubbed with black chalk for transfer (verso) Accession: 1997.153 On view in:Not on view