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Triumphal Procession of Roman Soldiers Carrying a Model of a City
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Taddeo Zuccaro
Italian, about 1548
Pen and brown ink, brush with brown wash, over black chalk, white heightening, on blue paper
6 1/4 x 10 7/8 in.
96.GB.329

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Carrying the model of a city on their shoulders, a group of Roman soldiers marches triumphantly through the streets. A small boy runs beside them, looking up at the ornate construction. The frieze-like arrangement to the figures, their sculptural character indicated by extensive white heightening, and the vantage point from below indicate that this was a design for a facade painting. Although Taddeo Zuccaro was famous for them during his early career, most of his work in this medium has now been lost. This drawing may relate to his best known façade painting and first independent project in the Palazzo Mattei in Rome, completed in 1548. In this masterful drawing Zuccaro used the blue paper that artists in Venice so often favored. The blue served as a middle tone, with the outlines and shadows drawn in black chalk and the shining highlights of flesh, armor, and drapery added in white. The three tones combine to fully model the three-dimensional figures.

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