Studies of Figures and Architecture (recto); Figure Studies (verso)

Perino del Vaga (Piero Buonaccorsi)about 1542 - 1545

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Perino del Vaga covered both sides of this sheet with drawings of figures and architecture. On the recto, he first made the six smaller figures that fit around the architectural ovals in the lower two-thirds of the drawing. Given the individualized nature of their attributes and poses, he seems to have intended them all for specific locations in a domed vault, although none of them relate to any of Perino's known works.

The four heads in profile at the top of the recto and the one at the top center of the verso differ in several ways; they were all drawn later than the other sketches. The later drawings are all much more lightly shaded with pale strokes of wash, and each profile wears an elaborate, fanciful hat or headdress and an exaggerated expression approaching caricature. These figures may represent costumed characters in a ballet or theatrical display. Scholars have not yet determined the purpose of the five other heavily shaded figures on the verso, two of whom seem to be in close discussion at the bottom left.

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  • Title: Studies of Figures and Architecture (recto); Figure Studies (verso)
  • Creator: Perino del Vaga (Piero Buonaccorsi)
  • Date: about 1542 - 1545
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 32.7 x 22.2 cm (12 7/8 x 8 3/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush with brown and gray wash, traces of black chalk; partly incised for transfer (recto); pen and brown ink and brown wash (verso)
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 88.GG.132
  • Inscription: Inscription: (Verso) the following fragmentary inscription by Perino in brown ink: "Beato" [cancelled: "alfin"] "ha quello che torna al fin senza faticha/che in memoria e ppeso non lla grava/chi troppo penssa el pensar la terra/chi l'altri impaci pigliaa e sua cr.../chi l'altrui tribola se stesso atterra/chi in pacida la suo morte seque/chi biasima altri se stesso/tal dice d'altrui che di se ste[sso]/l'oro dà valsente/sot'ombra s'oro facile...et volon.../la nesicità non v'a legge/e sse legge ha el paziente/megli'è patir honestamente/che perdesi un onesto sp..." Secondary Inscription: (Recto) at lower left corner, inscribed "D" and "Tiepolo" in black ink and "C" in black chalk; (verso) inscribed "12", "P/SS" in brown ink, "III/306" in black chalk.
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Drawings