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Cambiaso, Luca
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Cambiaso, Luca

Moneglia, Liguria, 1527 - El Escorial, Madrid, 1585

See author's file

Last third of the XVI century. Pencil, Pencil ground, Grey-brown ink on blue paper.
Not on display

The fantastic creature in the present sheet resembles those appearing as crests of helmets in some ornamental suits of armor manufactured in Northern Italy in the middle of the sixteenth century, particularly Milan. A good example is that in the form of a siren (part woman, part bird) on top of the helmet in the armor of Alessandro Farnesse preserved in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (inv. A 1132). Datable around 1576-80, this exceptional garniture is thought to be by the Milanese armorer, Lucio Marliani. Nos. 2 to 5 would appear to be designs for such a crest, though the continuation in nos. 2 and 5 of the creatures´ tail into a curlicue or flourish that turns back below the stomach might suggest design for panels of decoration to the sides of the helmet or some other part of the armor.

A similar design for scrollwork by a member of Cambiaso´s studio and showing A putto riding on the back of a griffin is in the Uffizi, Florence (inv. no. 980 Orn.).

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracc: a century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Virginia, Art Services International, 2008, p.243

Technical data

Inventory number
Cambiaso, Luca
Last third of the XVI century
Pencil; Pencil ground; Grey-brown ink
Blue paper
Height: 205 mm; Width: 255 mm

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de dibujos. Dibujos italianos del siglo XVI (por Nicholas Turner, con la colaboración de José Manuel Matilla), V, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 243.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracc: a century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Virginia, 2008, pp. 243.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 629.

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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