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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Design for a Candlestick

Artist:
Giulio Romano (Italian, Rome 1499?–1546 Mantua)
Date:
ca. 1530–46
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, light brown wash, over traces of black chalk and some incised lines made with a straight edge
Dimensions:
Sheet: 14 5/16 x 6 11/16 in. (36.3 x 17 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, in memory of Walter E. Stait, 2010
Accession Number:
2010.450.2
Not on view
Giulio Romano started his artistic career in the workshop of Raphael (Italian, Urbino 1483-1520 Rome) in Rome where he learned to execute designs in the style of his master. After Raphael’s death, he left Rome to become a court artist in his own right to the Gonzaga Family in Mantua. For over twenty years he led a team of artists, supplying designs for architecture, (fresco) paintings, tapestries, furniture and gold- and silversmith’s work which show his own ingenuity and creative sensibility. Of the silver- and goldsmith’s work, no executed pieces survive, but various designs have survived in drawings and (reproductive) prints. This design for a candlestick shows his architectural inclination, using a twisted Solomonic column as a base to support the candle. Giulio had seen the model for this column in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome where it had been brought by Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD. He used the column in his architecture design for the Palazzo del Te and repeated it here. He came up with an elegant transition to nature-inspired top with the snake whose curled-up body echoes the character of the column.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Living in Style: Five Centuries of Interior Design from the Collection of Drawings and Prints," June 17, 2013–September 9, 2013.

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