18 11/16 in. x 14 13/16 in. x 5 11/16 in. (47.47 cm. x 37.62 cm. x 14.4 cm.)
Medium and Support
pen and brown ink and grey wash over red chalk on paper
Gift of Miss Susan Dwight Bliss
A dynamic cluster of legendary characters--Rome, the River Tiber, the twins Romulus and Remus, and the she-wolf that nursed them--bursts through a narrow triangular frame. The drawing is a study for one of Carlo Maratti’s spandrel frescoes located between the windows of the large audience hall in the Palazzo Altieri in Rome. Never executed, these were intended to complement Maratti’s majestic central ceiling fresco, the “Allegory of Clemency” (1673--75), which proclaimed the virtues and accomplishments of the Altieri family’s most illustrious member--Pope Clement X. Maratti’s studies exhibit tremendous variety in media, technique, and level of finish. Modulated with deft touches of gray and brown wash, the layering achieved here creates a vibrant and luscious effect.
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