Lot 3
  • 3

LELIO ORSI | Recto: Figure study of a bearded man, design for a TelamonVerso: Study of a head and a butterfly

7,000 - 9,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Lelio Orsi
  • Recto: Figure study of a bearded man, design for a TelamonVerso:  Study of a head and a butterfly
  • Pen and brown ink (recto) black chalk (verso);bears later attribution in red biro, verso:  Celio Gapare cav. Romano 


Private Collection, United Kingdom

Catalogue Note

Previously unattributed, this drawing can be associated with a group of designs for caryatids and telamons by Lelio Orsi.  A telamon, in architectural terms, is a large male figure that serves as a column.  These figures would have been used by Orsi in the decorations he painted on palace façades in Novellara.  Unfortunately these exterior frescoes have not survived, but through a drawing in the collection of The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, we can envisage the elaborate schemes he devised.1 A similar pen and ink drawing for a caryatid is in the Seattle Art Museum2 and two others were sold in 2003.3  Further pen and ink studies for telamon figures are in a private collection, and were included in the Lelio Orsi exhibition in 1987.4

1. New York, The Morgan Library and Museum, inv. no. 1973.34; Drawings from New York Collections: The Italian Renaissance, exhib. cat., New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1966, p. 65, no. 106, reproduced
2. Project for two telamons and one caryatid, Seattle Art Museum, inv. no. 58.131 It. 30
3. Sale, London, Sotheby's, 9 July 2003, lot 5
4. Lelio Orsi, exhib. cat., Reggio Emilia, Teatro Valli, 1987-8, p. 115, no. 100, reproduced