Probably after Giulio Romano
The Carcass (Lo Stregozzo)
Engraving and etching, 300 × 631 mm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 25099
Although sixteenth-century German prints of witchcraft are well known, the theme counts as a rarity in Italian art. This large engraving of a puzzling subject, possibly a witches’ sabbath, is intermixed with numerous antique motifs, especially those associated with bacchanals. The combination of elements related to sorcery and mythology suggests the scene is related with Hecate, the Underworld goddess of magic, and darkness. The print was executed after Raphael’s death, probably on the basis of Giulio Romano’s drawing.
Pen and wash in brown ink, over black chalk, heightened with white
220 × 417 mm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 2126
Between 1531–1534 Giulio Romano and his workshop was decorating the north-east wing of the Palazzo del Tè in Mantua. In the Loggia della Grotta, the garden-side loggia attached to the private apartments of Federico II Gonzaga, stages of human life were represented by genre-like scenes and moralizing allegories. This pen drawing is a study for the central fresco of the vault, depicting a family feast. The two standing figures are based on Roman models: the angel’s pose was borrowed from Michelangelo’s marble Risen Christ, while the water-pourer repeats a servant by Raphael in the Villa Farnesina.
Pen and brown ink, over black chalk
143 × 215 mm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 1877
The compositional study was probably made for the altarpiece, today lost, for the San Domenico Church in Mantua. For the composition, Giulio Romano relied on Raphael’s drawings for his painting of the same subject, completed in 1507, for the Baglioni Chapel in the church of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia. In the fragmentary Budapest sheet, Giulio was searching the poses of the dynamically interacting figures.
Pen and wash in brown ink, over black chalk,
heightened with white
130 × 226 mm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 2419
Giulio Romano left Rome in 1524 to enter the service of Federico II Gonzaga at the Mantuan ducal court. Thus he avoided the Roman scandal caused by his pornographic drawings reproduced in engravings by Marcantonio Raimondi. By the order of Pope Clement VII, the series I modi (The Ways), depicting erotic postures, was destroyed and the engraver imprisoned. Giulio’s Budapest drawing of an older man and a young woman is close in spirit to the series I modi, but was executed already in Mantua. Similar erotic scenes appear among the frescoes of the Palazzo del Tè.
Frieze of an Acanthus Scroll
Pen and brown ink
264 × 148 mm
Inv. no. 1876
The model for the drawing was inspired by an Antique pillar or pilaster, which belonged to the famous Roman collection of cardinal Andrea della Valle. Motifs of these fragments reappear also in the Vatican Logge decorated by the Raphael workshop. During his career, Giulio repeated the acanthus scroll in many versions: they recur in the garden-side loggia of the Villa Madama, Rome, frescoed and stuccoed together with Giovanni da Udine in 1520, and later in his Mantuan works executed between 1524–1540.
(fl c. 1520−50)
After Giulio Romano
The Massacre of the Innocents
Chiaroscuro woodcut, 292 × 510 mm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 7333
Colour, so-called chiaroscuro woodcuts printed from several woodblocks were extremely popular in the period. Among the few surviving works of the Bolognese woodcutter, known only after his monogram and active in the French royal court at Fontainebleau, The Massacre of the Innocents is the most ambitious. It is related to the tapestry series Life of Christ. While Raphael is named as inventor in the inscription, the composition was more possibly designed by Giulio Romano.