Lot 14
  • 14

Jacopo Palma, called Palma Il Giovane

12,000 - 18,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jacopo Palma, called Palma Il Giovane
  • A standing figure, his right arm outstretched
  • Black chalk heightened with white chalk, on gray paper;
    bears old attribution and numbering, lower right: tintoreto 8
  • 11 3/8 x 7 5/8 inches


Robert Lebel, Paris,
his sale, Paris, Sotheby's, 25 March 2009, lot 6

Catalogue Note

The present drawing is a study for one of the central figures in Palma's vast canvas depicting The Age of Iron, now in the Palazzo Ducale, Mantua (fig. 1). The painting was commissioned by Giovanni Volpe, agent of Duke Alessandro I Pico, for the Ducal Palace in Mirandola, to complete a series of four depictions of The Ages of the World, the first three of which had been ordered from Sante Peranda. Palma's canvas was brought to Mantua in 1715, following a fire in Mirandola which destroyed the palace.

The subject is taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses (1:89-150), which tells of the four ages that followed the creation of the world: the Ages of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron. Palma's Age of Iron illustrates the malice and violence of the time before The Flood: a city burns in the distance, a step-mother poisons the drinking water of her step-son and in the centre two young men are locked together as one prepares to thrust his dagger into the other's back. The present drawing is preparatory for the figure of the victim, and is an excellent example of the free and expressive style of Palma's chalk drawings.