Description & Technical information

The present sheet may be related to at least two different paintings of battle scenes by Palma Giovane. A similar grouping of soldiers climbing ladders to attack a walled city is found at the upper left corner of a vast painting of The Siege of Constantinople of c.1584-1585 in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, while comparable soldiers also appear in a very large canvas of The Battle of San Quintinoin the Palazzo Reale in Turin, painted around 1580-1581. The present sheet may also be tentatively connected with a now-lost painting of The Assault on the Fort of Barbagno, painted by Palma Giovane in c.1583 for the end wall of the Sala dello Scrutinio in the Palazzo Ducale.

Among stylistically and thematically related pen and ink drawings by Palma Giovane is a Battle Scene in the Museo Correr in Venice, which has been related to the Siege of Constantinople in the Palazzo Ducale. The Correr sheet is part of an album of drawings by Palma Giovane which once belonged to the 18th century Venetian artist, engraver, art dealer and collector Count Anton Maria Zanetti. A similar arrangement of soldiers is also found in the upper part of a drawing of An Assault on a Fortress by Palma Giovanein the Louvre, which has been related to the lost Assault on the Fort of Barbagnoin the Sala dello Scrutinio in the Palazzo Ducale.

Period:  1400-1600, 16th Century
Origin:  Italy
Medium: Pen, Brown ink, Brown wash, Black chalk underdrawing
Dimensions: 37.5 x 27 cm (14³/₄ x 10⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: Jacques Bacri, Paris
Thence by descent.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints