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Group of Figures / Studies of a Young Woman Reclinig on the Ground, Holding an Urn
Perino del Vaga
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Perino del Vaga

Florence, 1501 - Rome, 1547

Perino del Vaga See author's file

Group of Figures / Studies of a Young Woman Reclinig on the Ground, Holding an Urn

First half of the XVI century. Pencil, Grey-brown ink on paper. Not on display

According to Elena Parma (Mantua, 2001, p. 296), the figure studies on the recto were perhaps made in relation to the planning of a masque, or a similar theatrical production. According to her interpretation of the scene, the two seated female figures are receiving a bearded dwarf, accompanied by a boy, though it seems by no means certain that the man is a dwarf, his physical proportions being in no way distorted. She also pointed out that Perino´s design was probably inspired by the composition of an ancient relief representing Bacchus Visiting the Poet Icarius (Bober and Rubinstein, 1986, pp. 122-3, no. 90). Icarius, an Athenian, received Bacchus hospitably on his arrival in Attica, for which Bacchus taught him in return the cultivation of the vine.

Perino´s involvement with theatrical productions and costume design emerges from a number of drawings. Perhaps the most striking of these is the double-sided Sheet of Figure Studies and Heads in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, which shows several figures dressed in fantastic costumes striking exaggerated movements, gestures and expressions (inv. no. 88.GG.132; Goldner and Hendrix, 1992, no. 30; Mantua, 2001, no. 165). Other drawings of this type are in Budapest, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and elsewhere. In all of these, the figures, with rather small heads, wear clothing that seems almost grotesquely inflated.

An emphatic pen line, unembellished by wash, is a feature of this and the D01783 drawing. Not only does it define the extremities of the forms, but it also hints at the fall of light and shade over the figures. This austere style of drawing forces the viewer to concentrate on the expressive quality of the contour as it darts and curves athletically across the paper. The energy of the line invests the figures with life, while giving them at the same time an aura of primitive simplicity, recalling figural representation in an ancient relief or vase decoration.

In the drawing on the reverse, two solutions appear for a reclining female figure: in the one above she is nude, while in that below she is clothed, and a putto helps her support an urn at her side (Text drawn from Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 78).

Technical data

Inventory number
D001787
Author
Perino del Vaga
Title
Group of Figures / Studies of a Young Woman Reclinig on the Ground, Holding an Urn
Date
First half of the XVI century
Technique
Pencil; Grey-brown ink
Support
Paper
Dimension
Height: 102 mm.; Width: 144 mm.
Provenance
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Parma, E. (et al.), Perino del Vaga : tra Raffaello e Michelangelo, Mantua, 2001, pp. 296-297, bajo el nº 165.

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. 78, 347.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Chicago, 2008, pp. 78,347.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 2044.

Exhibitions +

De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci. Un siglo de Dibujos Italianos en el Museo del Prado
25.10.2008 - 26.07.2009

Un siglo de dibujos italianos en el Museo del Prado. De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci
Madrid
23.11.2004 - 13.02.2005

Update date: 25-10-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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