The J. Paul Getty Museum

Taddeo's Hallucination

Object Details


Taddeo's Hallucination


Federico Zuccaro (Italian, about 1541 - 1609)




Italy (Place Created)


about 1595


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

Object Number:



27.5 × 27.3 cm (10 13/16 × 10 3/4 in.)

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Object Description

Federico Zuccaro described this scene in his notes: "One should not keep quiet to what happened to [Taddeo Zuccaro] during his return: tired of walking and suffering from fever, he stopped on the banks of a river, and waiting for someone to take him across, he rested and fell asleep; he woke up all sick from the pain he had and looking at the bank of the river, the stone and the gravel seemed as painted and historiated, similar to the facade and works of Polidoro [da Caravaggio] that he saw in Rome; this pleased him greatly. So shaken was his mind, and with the imagination he had, he really believed these to be what they seemed to be. He began his search for the stones that seemed better and more beautiful; he filled a sack, in which he carried his small things and his drawings." In a continuous narrative, Federico represented his brother four times. Taddeo falls asleep by a stream on the left and dreams in a circle above his head. In his illness he awakens to a hallucination that the river stones are painted with figures by Polidoro. He then loads his sack with these precious objects and struggles onwards.

One Hundred Original Drawings by Zucchero, Andrea del Sarto, Polidore da Caravaggio and Fra Bartolomeo (April 1836)
  • Lawrence Gallery (London), April 1 to April 30, 1836
Per Taddeo e Federico Zuccari nelle Marche (September 18 to November 7, 1993)
  • Palazzo Fagnani, September 18 to November 7, 1993
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
Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro: Artist-Brothers in Renaissance Rome (October 2, 2007 to January 6, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 2, 2007 to January 6, 2008
Il Sogno nel Rinascimento (May 21, 2013 to January 26, 2014)
  • Palazzo Pitti (Florence), May 21 to September 15, 2013