John A. Gere
Open Content images tend to be large in file-size. To avoid potential data charges from your carrier, we recommend making sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading.
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.
Not currently on view
Iris appearing to Turnus; study of a Helmet (recto); Alternative design for the recto composition (verso)
Pier Francesco Mola (Italian, 1612 - 1666)
1658 - 1659
Brush and brown ink over black chalk; (verso) black chalk
26.4 x 39.4 cm (10 3/8 x 15 1/2 in.)
In Virgil's Aeneid, Iris, goddess of the rainbow that trails behind her faintly drawn in black chalk, comes to Turnus, leader of the Rutuli nation, as a messenger from Juno. Iris tells Turnus to attack Aeneas's invading army now, for Aeneas has left camp. Ultimately, however, Aeneas killed Turnus and founded a city, which became Rome. The black chalk study of a Roman helmet in the upper left probably relates to the verso sketch of groups of ancient Roman soldiers.
Pier Francesco Mola displayed his distinctive talent for incorporating figures into lush, windswept landscapes that enhance the scene's drama. He usually mixed pen and chalk as he did here, first quickly laying down the composition's essentials using black chalk, then picking out the most important lines in pen and ink. His characteristic fluid dark washes increase the sense of movement and tension.
Mola made this study for a fresco on the vault of a room in a prince's summer palace. After a dispute with the prince, Mola left the project unfinished and it was later destroyed.
Recent Additions to the Drawings Collection (August 3 to October 1, 1999) (recto)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 3 to October 1, 1999
Visions of Grandeur: Drawing in the Baroque Age (June 1 to September 12, 2004) (recto)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to September 12, 2004
Gods and Heroes: European Drawings of Classical Mythology (November 19, 2013 to February 9, 2014) (recto)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 19, 2013 to February 9, 2014