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Studies of a Gentian, Moth, Birds, Cats, Interlacing Motif, and Greek Frets (recto); Ornamental Studies with Figures (verso)

Artist:
Giorgio di Giovanni ("Giorgio da Siena") (Italian, documented Siena 1538–died 1559 Siena)
Date:
1530–40
Medium:
Pen and two colors of brown ink, brush and watercolor over leadpoint or black chalk (recto); pen and light brown ink over leadpoint or black chalk (verso)
Dimensions:
7 3/16 x 10 7/16 in. (18.2 x 26.5 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift from the family of Howard J. Barnet, in his memory, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.451a, b
Not on view
The range of delicately drawn animal, insect, and ornamental motifs indicates that this sheet was once part of a sketch book or model book. The imagery relates generally to a fresco cycle at the Villa Belcaro, near Siena, which the artist executed between 1530 and 1540; he became the leading practitioner of the genre of naturalistic Antique-style ornamental painting in Siena. Particularly charming here is the lively pen line used to render the two cats and small strutting barnyard fowl, while the study of the insect -- an Acherontia Atropos, otherwise known as a Death’s Head Hawk Moth -- is drawn and painted with a nearly scientific precision.

The range of motifs indicates that this sheet was once part of a sketchbook or model book. The imagery relates generally to a fresco cycle at the Villa Belcaro, near Siena, which the artist executed between 1530 and 1540; Giorgio became the leading practitioner of naturalistic antique-style ornamental painting in Siena. Particularly charming here is the lively pen line used to render the two cats and the small, strutting barnyard fowl, while the insect-Acherontia atropos, otherwise known as a death's-head moth-is drawn and painted with a nearly scientific precision, even though it was intended as a motif in a decorative context.

(C.C.B.)
Pandora Old Masters; Vendor: Pandora Old Masters
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 22, 2002–July 14, 2002.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 24, 2005–April 24, 2005.

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