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Coat of Arms of the Rezzonico Family, capped by a Princely Crown and Supported by Two Winged Victories
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Gift of Bridget and Andrea Rothe

Giuseppe Cades
Italian, about 1768
Pen and brown ink and brown wash
6 13/16 x 7 1/8 in.
96.GA.333

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Underneath a prince's crown, two winged figures of Victory hold up the coat of arms of the Rezzonico family. A simple border of curved lines encircles the sculptured medallion.

An unknown Italian artist quickly sketched this design to work out his ideas. Using a pen and brown ink, he experimented with different angles for the outstretched arms of the Victories and for the crown. Loosely applied areas of wash define the women's breasts, wings, and legs. A band of wash around the edge of the circle lifts the design to suggest a more three-dimensional form.

From the 1500s onwards, drawings became essential tools for artists to communicate their ideas to patrons and other craftsmen. This design could have been used for fresco or stucco work or for decoration on an object such as a maiolica plate.