Giovanni Guerra (Italian, 1544–1618)
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black and red chalk
10 3/4 x 7 1/4 in. (27.3 x 18.4 cm)
Purchase, James A. and Maria R. Warth Gift, in memory of Anne and Peter Warth, 1999 (1999.63)
During the sixteenth century, Italian nobles developed a taste for artificial grottoes in their gardens and sometimes even their houses. Artists such as Giambologna and Bernardo Buontalenti became very skilled in inventing landscapes of rocks and shells often inhabited by amphibians, invertebrates, and other animals. The aquatic nature of most of these grottoes also lent itself well to the inclusion of fountains and statues of deities connected to water. In this design by Giovanni Guerra, a river god is seated on the rocks. He supports two amphorae from which water falls into the basin below.