Drawing of a Parade Helmet

Italian, probably Venetian

Not on view

Unlike preparatory designs intended to guide the goldsmith-embosser in decorating an armor, this drawing renders the likeness of a helmet already in existence. It undoubtedly records an example seen in a private aristocratic armory and is probably a study for use by the artist in a portrait of its owner, in which, following the conventions of the time, the helmet of the armored sitter was not worn but rested on a nearby table or ledge. The assured draftsmanship and delicate coloring attest to the skill of the artist, who may have been Venetian but otherwise remains unidentified. Beyond its visual appeal, the drawing is important as a record of an Italian Renaissance parade helmet embossed in high relief in the classicizing manner of Filippo Negroli of Milan. The helmet, which is probably a Milanese work of about 1540-50, still survives and is in the State Hermitage Museum. Saint Petersburg (Z.O. 6160). The helmet today lacks its hinged cheekpieces, one of which is carefully documented in this drawing

Drawing of a Parade Helmet, Colored chalk on paper, Italian, probably Venetian

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