Vignette Illustrating Torquato Tasso's "Gerusalemme Liberata" (X:78)

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta Italian

Not on view

This elegantly rendered pastoral scene was conceived by Giovan Battista Piazzetta as a preliminary study for the engraving on folio 126 bis recto of the 1745 edition of Torquato Tasso’s epic masterpiece "La Gerusalemme Liberata" (Jerusalem Delivered). The Museum also owns the 1745 edition of the "Gerusalemme" (inv. 37.36.1), which was published in Venice by Giambattista Albrizzi.

The scale of the figures in the drawing and the print are the same. However, the print is a more naturalistic scene with figures in a pyramidal grouping resting on solid ground, as opposed to the more decorative conception in the drawing, with figures crowded into a trapezoidal-shaped vignette supported by a decorative console. The expanded spatial conception of the print appears to account for a few specific differences: The head of a stag, which in the drawing is tied to a tree, is more obviously represented in the print as a trophy on the ground at lower left that supports a reclining putto. The central, female figure who in the drawing gazes at the two putti to her left, stares into the foreground of the print in the direction of the viewer. Also, the drawing omits the two dead rabbits seen in the right foreground of the print.

Vignette Illustrating Torquato Tasso's "Gerusalemme Liberata" (X:78), Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (Italian, Venice 1682–1754 Venice), Red chalk over traces of graphite

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