Search "" as a keyword...
Filter suggestionsContinue typing to see suggestions...



A portrait of Solon


Albumen print | 23.0 x 17.2 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 854641

A photograph of a drawing depicting a portrait of Solon now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (inv. no. 71 verso). This drawing is on the verso of a sheet depicting a portrait of Vittorino da Feltre (see RCIN 854642 for a photograph of the recto). Annotated on the verso.

This is one of the twelve copies in the 'Libretto Veneziano' after the series of 28 portraits of the 'Illustrious Men' attributed to Justus van Gent and Pedro Berruguete (c.1473-1476) in the Studiolo ('Study') of Federico da Montefeltro in Palazzo Ducale, Urbino. These portraits originally hung above the wood inlays ('intarsia'), which were executed by Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano. 

It has been suggested that these drawings were copying drawings rather than the final paintings: these intermediary drawings were probably executed by an Italian artist and in some instances the name of Raphael has been put forward. The 12 portraits depicted on the sheets of this sketchbook are apparently all from the upper level of the original decoration in the Studiolo (see Bibliographic References).

In 1631, following the death of Francesco Maria II Della Rovere, the last Duke of Urbino, the territories of the Dukedom returned to the Church and Cardinal Antonio Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII, removed the paintings from their original location, cutting them down in single wood panels and depriving them of great part of the inscriptions. The panels remained together in the Barberini collection until 1812, when 14 of them passed to the Colonna di Sciarra family who then sold them to the Marquis Campana. In 1861 they were bought by Napoleon III and arrived in 1863 at the Louvre, where they still are. The 14 paintings left in Italy returned to Urbino in 1934 and are now in the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino.

This drawing is part of the so-called "Libretto di Raffaello" or "Libretto Veneziano", 53 sheets that used to be mounted in a volume. After complicated negotiations, the sketchbook was bought by the museum in the 1820s, after the death of Giuseppe Bossi, who was its previous owner. A number of scholars debated the author of the drawings (with many names proposed, such as Pinturicchio, Antonio da Viterbo, Eusebio del Giorgio, Girolamo Genga) and their date. In 1984, the Gallerie dell'Accademia catalogued the drawings as by an artist contemporary to Raphael, whose juvenile works he copied in this sketchbook (see Bibliographic References).
  • Creator(s)

    Copy after? Joos van Wassenhove (active 1460-80) (artist)

    Copy after? Pedro Berruguete (d. c. 1504) (artist)

  • left bottom

  • 23.0 x 17.2 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Acquired for the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (c.1853-1876)

  • Subject(s)
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Italy
          • Urbino [Italy]
            • Palazzo Ducale [Urbino]