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Allegory of Forgetfulness

Artist:
Giorgio Vasari (Italian, Arezzo 1511–1574 Florence)
Date:
ca. 1570
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brush and pale gray wash, over traces of black chalk, on beige paper
Dimensions:
Diameter: 3-11/16 in. (9.4 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1967
Accession Number:
67.95.3
Not on view
The two rapid sketches with the Allegory of Forgetfulness (acc. no. 67.95.3) and the Allegory of Sleep (acc. no. 67.95.4) were executed in pen and brown ink by the Renaissance artist and historian Giorgio Vasari in a quick and spontaneous manner to record his ideas for a ceiling or wall decoration. In 1981 Julian Kliemann pointed out that Vasari’s allegorical drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art correspond with two sections of a ceiling decoration of a bedroom (possibly for Francesco I de' Medici) planned by Vincenzo Borghini in a text datable ca. 1569-70. The Allegory of Forgetfulness is represented as a river god resting on an urn from which flow the dark waters of Lethe. The sleeping leopard and lizard in the foreground play emblematic roles, while "certi spiritelli come diavolini," representing cares, fly away at upper right. The Allegory of Sleep (acc. no. 67.95.4) differs in a number of ways from Vincenzo Borghini's description for the bedroom project. The essential elements of Borghini's scheme are nonetheless present: Sleep is attended by a young woman, and butterfly-winged putti holding mirrors appear above.
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink at lower border of old mount, Georgio. Vasari.; in pen and brown ink on reverse of old mount, Georgio. Vasari.

Marking: Colnaghi stock number at lower right corner in pencil on old mat, 29490.
Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame. "The Age of Vasari," February 22, 1970–March 31, 1970.

Binghamton University Art Museum, State University of New York at Binghamton. "The Age of Vasari," April 12, 1970–May 10, 1970.

Musée du Luxebourg, Paris. "Il Sogno nel Rinascimento / Rêver à la Renaissance," October 7, 2013–January 26, 2014.

Maurice Poirier The Age of Vasari, essay on the Role of the Concept of Disegno in Mid-Sixteenth Century Florence Exh. cat., University Art Gallery, State University of New York, Binghamton. Binghamton, New York, 1970, fig. no. D50, p. 89, ill.

Julian Kliemann Giorgio Vasari. Principi, letterati e artisti nelle carte di Giorgio Vasari. Exh. cat. Casa Vasari, Arezzo, 1981, cat. no. no. 55b, fig. no. fig. 173, p. 161, ill.

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. 264, fig. no. 264, pp. 259-60, ill.

Florian Härb The Drawings of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574). Rome, 2015, p. 547, no. 364.



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