Battle of Horsemen and Foot Soldiers

Attributed to Guglielmo della Porta (Italian, Porlezza, near Lake Lugano ca. 1500–1577 Rome)
mid-16th century
Pen and dark and light brown ink.
8 1/8 x 12 3/8 in. (20.7 x 31.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
In this dynamic study of a battle scene, the dense fabric of overlapping figures and the energetic penwork contribute to the chaotic action. The complex interweaving of soldiers and animals recalls classical reliefs, which were a significant source of inspiration for Renaissance artists. The style of the drawing suggests an artist in the circle of Perino del Vaga (Italian, Florence 1501–1547). A likely candidate is the sculptor and stucco designer, Guglielmo della Porta, who worked as Perino’s assistant in Genoa and Rome, and whose sculpted reliefs depicting mythological subjects are on view in the Museum (gallery 536).
H.M. (Lugt 1343); Henry Oppenheimer, London; Oppenheimer sale 1936, lot 36b. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1936.
William M. Griswold Linda Wolk-Simon. "Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 11 - March 27, 1994)." Sixteenth Century Italian Drawings in New York Collections. Exh. cat.New York, 1994, pp. 77-79, 211, no. 69.