This fascinating study of the façade of a small church records a project of restoration which was possibly never executed. We know of no other drawings related to this commission. The style of the figures in the drawn rectangular space, between two windows, reveals the author of this architectural project to be the young Perino del Vaga. The coat-of-arms and name of Clement VII, Medici, and the inscription on the cartiglio help to date the project. On 24 December 1524, the newly appointed Pope opened the year of the ninth jubilee. It is likely, therefore, that this drawing was made on Perino's return from his brief Florentine sojourn in 1522-23 and before December 1524. It is possible that the project was for the small, free-standing church on the Esquiline, dedicated to St. Julian the Hospitaller which was near the Trofei di Mario (fig. 1) but was destroyed in 1874. Vasari records how many commissions were given to Perino at the time of the election of Pope Clement VII, and he writes: 'Fu l'anno 1523 creato papa Clemente settimo, che fu un grandissimo refrigerio all'arte della pittura e della scultura, state da Adriano sesto, mentre che è visse, tenute tanto basse, che non solo non si era lavorato per lui niente, ma non se ne dilettando, anzi piuttosto avendole in odio, era stato cagione che nessuno altro se ne dilettasse....'1 At the departure of Giulio Romano for Mantua in 1524, Perino, although still young, was an experienced artist and the artistic heir of the school of Raphael. Up to the Sack of Rome in 1527 he was given very important commissions. It is interesting to note the old attribution on the verso to Baldassare Peruzzi, another of Raphael's collaborators, who in 1525 was responsible for the Jubilee medal of Clement VII.
1. G. Vasari, Le Vite dei più eccellenti Pittori Scultori ed Architetti, ed. G. Milanesi, vol. V, Florence 1880, p. 609
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