Taddeo Sent on an Errand by Calabrese's Wife
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Federico Zuccaro
Italian, about 1595
Pen and brown ink, brush with brown wash, over black chalk
16 9/16 x 6 3/4 in.

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Sent on an errand by the wife of the artist Calabrese, to whom he was apprenticed, Taddeo Zuccaro stops to admire a painted facade by Polidoro da Caravaggio, one of the most popular painters of his day. As in other episodes in this series, Federico Zuccaro set this incident in a recognizable setting. The Pantheon and probably the old church of the Trinità dei Monti are just visible in the distance. In the foreground, Taddeo grinds colors for his master but pauses to draw one of the figures he has just seen with a twig in the colored powder.

Federico captured the joys and hardships of the life of a young artist, as well as giving a heartfelt tribute to his revered and gifted elder brother. This scene, as well as others in the series, provides a sense of the topographical and physical appearance of Renaissance Rome, with its newly decorated palaces mixed with its marvels of antiquity.