Sunday, June 24, 2018

Amico Aspertini - Sketch-Book on Vellum (British Museum)

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook - cover with flap open
ca. 1535
vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook - Inside front cover
Sketches of antique figures and ornaments
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Giorgio Vasari described Amico Aspertini (1474/75-1552) as, "an eccentric man of extravagant brain, whose figures, executed by him throughout all Italy, but particularly in Bologna, where he spent most of his time, are equally eccentric and even mad, if one may say so.  If, indeed, the vast labour which Amico devoted to his drawing had been pursued with a settled object, and not by caprice, he might perchance have surpassed many whom we regard as rare and able men."

The British Museum preserves two intact sketch books used by Amico.  The one sampled here, entirely of vellum, is thought mainly to have been executed in Rome during 1535.  "Diverse opinions are found in the literature about the purpose of Aspertini's drawing books," according to curators at the museum.  "There is unanimity in accepting that Aspertini did travel to Rome on several occasions and indeed made records of some of the antiquities found there, but some believe that [the surviving sketchbooks] have not been drawn in front of the monuments, rather that they are later rielaborations by the artist."   

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook - double-page opening
Antique Statues displayed in the Belvedere Courtyard at the Vatican
The Nile (front and back views), Apollo Belvedere, Venus Felix
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook - double-page opening
Antique Statues displayed in the Belvedere Courtyard at the Vatican
The Tiber, Sleeping Ariadne, Laoco├Ân
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Antique Statues displayed in the della Valle collection, Rome
Woman in mantle, Hercules, Nude Man with mantle, Orpheus, Bacchus, Putto on Marine Monster
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Antique Statues displayed in the della Valle collection, Rome
Woman in profile, Youth with pipes, Bacchus, Ganymede with Jupiter as Eagle, Venus Pudica
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Antique Statues displayed in Rome and/or in Mantua
Venus, Woman in mantle, Venus, Apollo or Bacchus, Woman in Doric chiton, Group of two women
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Antique Statues called The Dioscuri or Horse Tamers on the Quirinal Hill, Rome
ca. 1535
drawing on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Relief sculptures of an Amazonomachy from antique sarcophagus used as a fountain at the Vatican
ca. 1535
drawing on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Relief sculptures of a Battle scene from Trajan's Column, Rome
ca. 1535
drawing on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Relief sculpture of Romans fighting barbarians from a sarcophagus owned by artist Giulio Romano
ca. 1535
drawing on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Relief sculpture of Meleager carried to the Tomb from lost sarcophagus - Statue group of The Three Graces
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook
Relief sculptures of Men on Horseback hunting Bulls and Centauromachia, both from lost sarcophagi
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum

Amico Aspertini
Sketchbook - Inside back cover
Relief sculpture of Hercules and Nemean Lion - Sculpture of Horse attacked by Lions - Various inscriptions
ca. 1535
drawings on vellum
British Museum