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Hercules Firing an Arrow at the Centaur Nessus, who flees with the Nymph Dejanira on his Back
Brusasorci, Domenico (Attributed to)
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Brusasorci, Domenico (Attributed to)

Hercules Firing an Arrow at the Centaur Nessus, who flees with the Nymph Dejanira on his Back

1550 - 1560. Wash, White lead, Pencil, Pencil ground, Grey-brown ink on blue paper. Not on display

Classified in the collections of Brun and Fernández Durán as by Paolo Farinati (1524-1606). The silvery finish, suggested by the copious white heightening on a support of light blue-grey paper, is strongly reminiscent of the style of some of the finished drawings by Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) and a number of his followers, including Paolo Farinati, to whom it was formerly given. The attribution to Domenico Brusasorci is based on a comparison of style and technique with the artist´s undoubtedly authentic drawings, including two in the Louvre: the Parable of the Wedding Feast and St. George and the Dragon. The first, which is datable to the 1550s, like the Prado drawing, is a finished drawing in pen and brown wash, heightened with white, but this time on light brown paper (inv. no. 10103; Paris, 1993, no. 12). The second, which is strikingly close in the placement of the protagonists in an open landscape background, as well as in the structure of equine anatomy, shows figure types that are a good match for Dejanira´s bony physiognomy, with deeply set eye-sockets, not to mention her tightly fitting drapery (inv. no. 10286; Paris, 1993, no. 13).

According to legend, while on their travels together, Hercules and Dejanira, who was the daughter of the river god Oenus, came to the river Evenus, where the centaur Nessus was the ferryman. As Nessus carried Dejanira across the water, he tried to ravish her, whereupon Hercules, still left on the further bank, drew his bow and killed him with a poisoned arrow, which afterwards became the cause of the death of Hercules.

The Prado drawing was first freely blocked in with black chalk, the subsequent outlines in pen and ink not always following these initial contours, for example in the rushes growing at the riverside in the left foreground and in Nessus´s forelegs (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. 96).

Technical data

Inventory number
D002996
Author
Brusasorci, Domenico (Attributed to)
Title
Hercules Firing an Arrow at the Centaur Nessus, who flees with the Nymph Dejanira on his Back
Date
1550 - 1560
Technique
Wash; White lead; Pencil; Pencil ground; Grey-brown ink
Support
Blue paper
Dimension
Height: 117 mm.; Width: 170 mm.
Provenance
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

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. 96, 222.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Chicago, 2008, pp. 96,222.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 984.

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: 30-07-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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