Taddeo Drawing by Moonlight in Calabrese's House

Object Details

Title:

Taddeo Drawing by Moonlight in Calabrese's House

Artist/Maker(s):

Federico Zuccaro (Italian, about 1541 - 1609)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1595

Medium:

Pen and brown ink, brush with brown wash, over black chalk

Dimensions:

42.1 x 17.7 cm (16 9/16 x 6 15/16 in.)

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Federico Zuccaro noted that, "When [his brother Taddeo] was living in the house of Calabrese he could never make drawings in the daytime and hardly ever in the evenings, and at night he had to go to bed in the dark because he was grudged even a drop of oil for a lamp; but his desire was so great that he would get up and draw by moonlight on the windows." Here Taddeo Zuccaro has leapt out of bed half-dressed in order to frantically sketch the Tiber river, Castel Sant'Angelo, and the dome of Saint Peter's basilica under construction by moonlight. He has only had time to put on one slipper, while the rest of his clothing lies haphazardly beside the bed in the corner. Federico added many small details of everyday life: the chamber pot under the bed, the jagged board Taddeo used to support his paper, and the shutters on whose makeshift surfaces he has drawn figures. These all create a vivid impression of a young artist's material life in Renaissance Rome.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Taddeo Zuccaro: An Artist's Life in Renaissance Rome (June 15 to August 29, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 15 to August 29, 1999
Work and Play: Everyday Life in Drawings; 1520 - 1820 (July 31 to October 14, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 31 to October 14, 2001
Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro: Artist-Brothers in Renaissance Rome (October 2, 2007 to January 6, 2008) (9)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 2, 2007 to January 6, 2008
Images of the Artist (November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012) (9)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012