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Allegory on the Fidelity of the Lizard (recto); Design for a Stage Setting (verso)

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, Vinci 1452–1519 Amboise)

Date:
1496
Medium:
Pen and brown ink (recto and verso)
Dimensions:
7-15/16 x 5-1/4 in. (20.2 x 13.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
17.142.2
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Recto inscribed toward the center of the upper border in pen and medium brown ink by Leonardo, script reading from right to left:
    ilramarro . fedele allomo vede[n]do quello adorme[n] / tato . co[n] batte . cholla bisscia esse vede no[n]lla potere / vincere core sopra ilvolto dello mo . ello dessta accioche / essa . bisscia nonoffenda loadorme[n]tato . homo [paraph]
    (The lizard faithful to man, seeing him asleep, fights with the snake, and as he [the lizard] sees that [he] cannot conquer her [the snake], he [the lizard] runs over the face of the man to wake him so that the snake may not harm the sleeping man).

    Verso inscribed on the upper left quadrant in pen and medium brown ink by Leonardo, scribt reading from right to left, but with numbered fractions reading left to right:
    6 ¾ _____ . 2 . 4 ¾ acrissio gia[n]cristofano / 13 ¼ ______acriso_____ 1 . 1¼ . 3 . 2 . ¾ [reworked and fraction separated with a long line from numbers below] . 1 . 2 siro tacho[n] / 15 _____ 2 1/3 . 1 . 8 . 3 ¼ danae francº romano / 14 _____ 1 . 1 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 2 merchurio . gianbatista da osimo [or, daossmo] / 8 _____ 2 . 1 . 2 . 2 giove gia[n]francº tantio / 1/3 servo [cancelled, piac] . / anu[n]tiatore [annuntiatore] dellafesta / + [or possibly, a faded 4] i quali si miaravigliano / della nova stella essinginochiano / e quella adorano essingino / chiano e co[n] musicha finisscha / no la fessta _____ / annv[tia]tore 3. (Compare Jean Paul Richter, The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1939), 1:392-93, no. 705A (verso), and 2:276, no. 1264A (recto); and Carlo Pedretti, The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci: Commentary (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977), 1:402, no. 705A (verso) and 2:265, no. 1264A (recto).

    Marking: Metropolitan Museum of Art stamp removed from the left lower border of the recto and verso in February 1969. When the original negative was made in 1917 (37139 tf B and 37133 ff A) the stamp had not yet been applied. The stamp was applied sometime before 1963, and removed before April, 1979, when the verso negative 215349 was made.

  • Provenance

    Jacques Guillaume Legrand (French, Paris, 1743–1807)(French, 1743-1807/8), may have produced the page in the "Album Amicorum" style dedicated to Joseph Allen Smith and the description of the mount is as follows: Pen and medium-brown ink on blue-gray laid paper, 10-1/16 x 8-15/16 in. (25.6 x 22.8 cm), maximum sheet, irregular borders; the watermark along left border of recto too cropped for identification, and originally containing the double-sided drawing by Leonardo da Vinci and a small drawn copy by a follower of Leonardo.
    Inscribed:
    [Recto] Souvenir d'amitié / a j. allen Smith / par j. G. Legrand [paraph] en floréal an 9 [i.e., 21 April to 20 May of the year 1801 in the republican calendar]. / Leonardo né au chateau de Vinci près de florence vers 1443 / ou / 1445 / mort a fontainebleau agé de 75 ans. [cancelled, dans les bras de . . . ]en 1518 / ou / 1520 / il fut eleve d'andré verrochio [sic, Andrea Verrochio] et devint chef de / l'ecole florentine [.] Michel ange et raphael etudierent / sur ses cartons. il cultiva la poesie, la Musique, l'architecture, / la sculpture, l'anatomie etc.a. / fut savant dans les Mathematiques qu'il appliqua comme /ingenieur à la Mechanique à lhydraulique. fit un excellent / traité sur la peinture. / il porta au plus haut degré le dessin, la grace et l'expression. / ses eleves les plus connus sont / andré salaino au salai / antonio bottrafio [sic, Boltraffio] / marco uggioni [sic, Marco d'Oggiono] / caesar sisto [sic, Cesare da Sesto] / paul lomazzo [Gian Paolo Lomazzo]. (Transcribed with the assistance of Emilie de Thonel d'Orgeix).

    [Verso:] de la main de Leonardo da vinci / notice. / l'ecriture est a / guche, et doit se / lire dans une glace / Parmegianio.; Joseph Allen Smith (London and Charleston, South Carolina)(from Legrand - annotation on old mount); Thomas Sully (American, Horncastle, Lincolnshire 1783–1872 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)- A letter by Bryson Burroughs to Bernard Berenson on 26 April 1918 (that is, a year and a half after the acquisition of the drawings) states that the drawings (as well as another by Leonardo discussed later in the text) were bought from Thomas Nash, Esquire, and that they belonged to Thomas Sully, the portrait painter (Archive of the Department of Drawings and Prints, the Metropolitan Museum of Art). For earlier versions of the provenance, corrected here, see Bryson Burroughs, "Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci on Exhibition," Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 13 (1918): 214-17 and Jacob Bean (with the assistance of Lawrence Tucic), 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982), pp. 116-18, no. 108.; Francis T. S. Darley(inherited); Thomas Nash (New York, 1861–1926)(by inheritance)

  • Exhibition History

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "100 European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art".

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings from New York Collections I: The Italian Renaissance," November 8, 1965–January 9, 1966.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Leonardo da Vinci and His Followers in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 5, 1981–June 7, 1981.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," September 11, 2000–December 4, 2000.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Leonardo da Vinci: Master Draftsman," January 22, 2003–March 30, 2003.

    Musée du Louvre. "Leonard de Vinci. Dessins et manuscrits," May 5, 2003–July 14, 2013.

  • References

    Paola Venturelli "Percorso iconologico nell'oreficeria vinciana." in Achademia Leonardo Vinci: Journal of Leonardo Studies and Bibliography of Vinciana. vol. 7, 1994, fig. no. 2, p. 117.

    J. W. Lieb "Elenco e analisi...: Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Jork, october 1918." in Raccolta Vinciana. vol. 10, 1919, pp. 259-62.

    Bryson Burroughs "Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci on Exhibition." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 13, no. 10, New York, October 1918, pp. 214-217.

    Marie Herzfeld "La rappresentazione della "Danae" organizzata da Leonardo." in Raccolta Vinciana. 11 (1920-22), 1922, p. 226.

    Anny E. Popp Leonardo da Vinci: Zeichnungen. Munich, 1928, cat. no. 27, pp. 12, 39.

    Heinrich Bodmer "Leonardo: Des Meisters Gemälde und Zeichnungen." Klassiker der Kunst in Gesamtausgaben. 37, Stuttgart and Berlin, 1931, pp. 233, 399-400, ill.

    Bernard Berenson The Drawings of the Florentine Painters. 3 vols., amplified edition. Chicago, 1938, fig. no. 1049B (vol. 2), p. 116 (vol. 2), ill.

    Dr. Jean Paul Richter, London The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci. 2 vols., Oxford, 1939, cat. no. 705A v, 1264A r, vol. 1, p. 45.

    Nando De Toni I manoscritti e i disegni di Leonardo da Vinci pubblicati dalla Reale Commissione Vinciana sotto gli auspici del Ministero della istruzione pubblica. Disegni. Vol. 1 (1928); Vol. 2 (1930); Vol. 3 (1934-42); Vol. 4 (1936-45), Vol. 5 (1939-47), Vol. 6 (1949), Vol. 7 (1952). Edited with epilogue by Adolfo Venturi, 8 vols., Rome, 1939, ill.

    Walter Mehring European Drawings from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Portfolio of Collotype Reproductions [Vol. 1: Italian Drawings; Vol. 2: Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings; Vol. 3: "New Series": Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings]. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3 vols., New York, 1942-1944, cat. no. 9 (vol.1), fig. no. 9 (r and v), ill.

    Ludwig Goldscheider Leonardo da Vinci. London and New York, 1943, fig. no. 33, ill.

    A. Hyatt Mayor, John Goldsmith Phillips "Notes: The Renaissance Galleries." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 5, no. 3, New York, November 1946, p. 100, ill.

    A. E. Popham Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. London, 1949, fig. no. 111 (recto), pp. 59, 135, ill.

    Ludwig H. Heydenreich Leonardo da Vinci [vol. I, 1943; vol. II, 1954]. 2 vols., New York and Basel, 1954, fig. no. II-81, pp. I-p.60; II-p, ill.

    Ludwig Goldscheider Leonardo da Vinci: Life and Work, Paintings and Drawings, with the Leonardo Bibliography by Vasari, 1568. 6th edition, revised. London, 1959, p. 187.

    Bernard Berenson, Luisa Vertova I disegni dei pittori fiorentini. 3 vols., Revised and enlarged. Milan, 1961, cat. no. 1049B, fig. no. 1049B, p. 204 (vol. II).

    Kate Trauman Steinitz "Le Dessin de Leonardo de Vinci pour la representation de la Danae de Baldassare Taccone." in La Lieu théâtral à la Renaissance. Edited by Jean Jacquot, Paris, 1964, fig. no. fig. 1, pl. 1 v., pp. 35-40, ill.

    Jacob Bean 100 European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York Graphic Society, New York, 1964, cat. no. 5, ill.

    Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. I: The Italian Renaissance. Ex. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1965, cat. no. 17, fig. no. 17, p. 27, ill.

    "Mostre a New York" in Sele Arte. Sele Arte Magazine, vol. 13, nos. 77-78, January-June. 1966, fig. no. 170, p. 105, ill.

    Sir Kenneth Clark, Carlo Pedretti The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. 3 vols., 2nd revised (1st edition 1935). London, 1968-1969, cat. no. vol. I, no.12395, vol. I, p. 58.

    B. Bacall A Catalogue of the Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and his School in the United States of America M.A. thesis, directed by Carlo Pedretti. Master's thesis, 1968 cat. no. no. 6.

    "Leonardo architetto teatrale e organizzatore di feste... "Quando s'apre Il Paradiso di Plutone" in Lettura Vinciana. vol. 9, Florence, 1970 [15 April 1969], pp. 257-61.

    The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci Compiled and Edited from the Original Manuscripts. 2 vols., 3rd edition (1st edition 1883). London, 1970, cat. no. I-705; II-1264A, pp. I-392-93; II.

    Carlo Pedretti Leonardo da Vinci: Studies for a Nativity and the 'Mona Lisa Cartoon' with Drawings after Leonardo from the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana Exh. cat., in Honor of Elmer Belt, M. D. on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles, University of California, 1973, p. 16, n. 4.

    Michael Jaffé European Drawings from the Fitzwilliam. Exh. cat., New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library; Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum; The Baltimore Art Museum; The Minneapolis Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art. International Exhibitions Foundation , Washington DC, 1976-1977, cat. no. 21, p. 15.

    Carlo Pedretti The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci. Compiled and Edited from the Original Manuscripts by Jean Paul Richter Commentary. 2 vols., Berkely and Los Angeles, 1977, I-p. 402, II-p.

    Marialuisa Angiolillo "Leonardo: Feste e teatri." in Studi e testi di storia e critica dell'arte. vol. 10, Naples, 1979, fig. no. 37 (verso), pp. 57-58, 77-79, ill.

    Leonardo in Milan and Lombardy in Leonardo da Vinci. Revised edition (1st edition 1939). New York, 1980, p. 114.

    Carlo Pedretti Leonardo e la lettura del territorio. in Lombardia: Il territorio, l'ambiente, il paesaggio. Edited by Carlo Pirovano. Milan, 1980, p. 238.

    Leonardo's Thought in Leonardo da Vinci. Revised edition (1st edition 1939). New York, 1980, p. 169.

    Carlo Pedretti Leonardo architetto. Revised edition (1st edition 1978). Milan, 1981, fig. no. 163, 435, 436 v., pp. 112, 291-93, ill.

    Leonardo da Vinci and His Followers in the Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exh. (no catalogue): March 5 - June 7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981.

    The Drawings and Miscellaneous Papers of Leonardo da Vinci in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. Vol. 1: Landscapes, Plants and Water Studies. Edited by Carlo Pedretti, London and New York, 1982, p. 117.

    Emanuel Winternitz Leonardo da Vinci as a Musician. New Haven and London, 1982, fig. no. 6.1, pp. 77-78, ill.

    Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turcic 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, cat. no. 108, pp. 117-18, ill.

    Mariangela Mazzocchi Doglio, Giampiero Tintori Leonardo e gli spettacoli del suo tempo Exh. cat., Milan, Rotonda di Via Besana. Milan, 1983, pp. 58-62.

    Mariangela Mazzocchi Doglio "Leonardo 'apparatore' di spettacoli a Milano per la corte degli Sforza." in Mazzocchi Doglio and Tintori, Leonardo e gli spettacoli del suo tempo, Exh. cat., Milan, Rotonda di Via Besana. Milan, 1983, fig. no. 41, pp. 49-55.

    Alberto Carlo Carpiceci L' architettura di Leonardo: Indagine e ipotesi su tutta l'opera di Leonardo architetto. Florence, 1984, cat. no. nos. 3, 4, fig. no. 216.

    The Drawings and Miscellaneous Papers of Leonardo da Vinci in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. Vol. 2: Horses and Other Animals. Edited by Carlo Pedretti, London and New York, 1987, fig. no. 135, p. 116.

    Sir Kenneth Clark, Martin Kemp Leonardo da Vinci. Revised edition (1st edition 1939, 2nd edition 1959). London, 1988, fig. no. 46, pp. 118-120.

    Martin Kemp and Margaret Walker Leonardo on Painting: An Anthology of Writings by Leonardo da Vinci, with a Selection of Documents Relationg to his Career as an Artist. New Haven and London, 1989, p. 247.

    Maria Teresa Fiorio "Uno spunto leonardesco in un rilievo del Bambaia." in Fiorio and Marani: I leonardeschi a Milano: Fortuna e collezionismo. Atti del Convegno Internazionale, Milano 25-26 settembre 1990. Milan, 1991, fig. no. 14, pp. 95-99.

    Alessandro Parronchi "E questo il luogo del suo premio disegno?" in Toscana qui. vol. 2, 1992, fig. no. 12, p. 35 n. 11.

    Carlo Pedretti, Patricia Trutty-Coohill The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci and His Circle in America. Florence, 1993, cat. no. 9, pp. 42-44.

    A. E. Popham, Martin Kemp The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. Revised (1st edition 1945). London, 1994, cat. no. no. 111 (recto).

    Carlo Vecce Leonardo. Rome, 1998, pp. 159-161.

    Daniel Arasse Leonardo da Vinci: The Rhythm of the World. New York, 1998, fig. no. 167, pp. 236-237.

    Leonardo da Vinci: I documenti e le testimonianze contemporanee. Edited by Edoardo Villata, Milan, 1999, cat. no. 107, pp. 92-93.

    Maurie D. McInnis , et al. In Pursuit of Refinement: Charlestonians Abroad 1740-1860 Exh. cat., Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina, April 9 - July 3, 1999. Columbia, South Carolina, University of South Carolina Press, 1999, Not exhibited., cat. no. 49, p. 183., ill.

    Françoise Viatte, Varena Forcione Leonard de Vinci. Dessins et manuscrits. Exh. cat.: Paris, Musée du Louvre, May 5 - July 14. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2003, (entry by Carmen C. Bambach), cat. no. 47, fig. no. 47, p. 159, pp. 134, 161-163, ill.

    Carmen C. Bambach Leonardo da Vinci: Master Draftsman. Exh. cat.: January 22 - March 30, 2003. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press , New Haven and London, 2003, (entry by Carmen C. Bambach), cat. no. 68, pp. 447-450, ill.



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