Circle of PERINO DEL VAGA

(Florence 1501 - Rome 1547)

Neptune and Two Tritons

Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with traces of framing lines in brown ink.
217 x 147 mm. (8 1/2 x 5 3/4 in.)
 
The present sheet would appear to be a 16th century copy of a lost drawing by Perino del Vaga; one of a set of four drawings of marine gods and nymphs by the artist. The four drawings by Perino – two depicting Neptune and two of the sea goddess Thetis - were engraved, probably sometime between 1560 and 1580, by an artist in the circle of the Mantuan printmaker Giorgio Ghisi (c.1520-1582). 

Two autograph pen and wash drawings of nymphs and tritons by Perino del Vaga, one in the Albertina in Vienna and the other in the Louvre in Paris, are similar to the present sheet in stylistic and compositional terms, and may also be related to the series of four engravings of Neptune and Thetis. These drawings have in turn been associated with the decoration of the Sala di Apollo in the Castel Sant’Angelo, a project begun by Perino del Vaga but completed after his death – which occurred only a fortnight after work had commenced - by his assistant Domenico Rietti, called Lo Zaga.

Another anonymous drawing after the same composition by Perino del Vaga is today in the Albertina. Perino used a very similar pose of a seated Neptune in a highly finished drawing of Neptune Triumphant over the Waves, today in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
 

Circle of PERINO DEL VAGA

Neptune and Two Tritons