This large, impressive study of a male figure, crouching and twisting his body so that his face is seen almost in profile, has recently been published in connection with Perino's sumptuous decorations in the Palazzo Doria in Genoa (see Literature). The drawing was first attributed to Perino in 1995, by Bernice Davidson, but it was Linda Wolk Simon who proposed the connection with the figure in the left foreground of Perino's octagonal fresco representing Camillus and Brennus, in the Palazzo's Loggia degli Eroi (fig.1). Perino worked for Andrea Doria on an extensive decorative scheme for the palace for nearly ten years, from 1527 until 1537; the decoration of the Loggia, for which this is a study, was executed between 1530 and 1531. A drawing for the whole composition of the fresco of Camillus and Brennus, also first recognized by Bernice Davidson, is now in the collection of Jeffrey Horvitz (see exhibition catalogue, Mantua, op.cit., p. 220, cat. no. 111, reroduced p. 223). That drawing represents, however, a fairly early stage in the development of the composition, as there are a number of differences from the final fresco.
The present study was probably executed somewhat after the Horvitz drawing, as it shows important changes in the pose and position of this figure: here, his arm is raised to point to the loot that lies at the feet of the Roman hero, the same solution adopted by Perino, though in reverse, in the final composition. The fact that the figure is here in reverse to the final version (and also to the corresponding figure in the Horvitz sketch) would seem to indicate that Perino must at some point have considered reversing the entire scene. Two finished studies connected with two other octagonal decorations for the Loggia degli Eroi are known: Marcus Curtius throwing himself into the chasm of the Campidoglio, in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and Horatius Cocles defending the bridge, in the British Museum (see respectively: exhibition catalogue, Mantua, op. cit., cat. no. 109, illustrated, and P. Pouncey and J. Gere, Raphael and his Circle, London 1962, vol. I, cat. no. 164, vol. II, pl. 131). Various other studies connected with the decoration of the Loggia are also known, in public and private collections (see exhibition catalogue, Mantua, op. cit., pp. 222 and 224-227).
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