Three extant volumes of drawings after the antique together with scattered leaves from yet another sketchbook, by the Bolognese artist, Amico Aspertini, give an unusual opportunity to students of the relations between Renaissance and classical art. One of the volumes dates from the beginning of the century, the other two from the 1530s and later. They make it possible to assess the antiquarian studies of a representative painter of the time in his progress from youth to maturity. They also throw much light on the specific nature of Renaissance use of the legacy of Antiquity.
In 1957 Phyllis Fray Bober’s Drawings after the Antique by Amicl Aspertini made available the relevant drawings from the two sketchbooks of Aspertini’s maturity, now preserved in the British Museum. The present volume by Gunter Schweikhart of the Gesamthochschule, Kassel is a companion to Professor Bober’s volume and completes the picture. Professor Schweikhart provides a full account of the young Appertini’s sketchbook, now in the Fürstliche Kunstsammlungen, Wolfgang (Codex Wolfegg). He deals with its history and its make-up, its relation to the tradition of sketchbooks after the antique, and the information it can be made to yield both concerning Appertini himself and concerning the artistic attitudes of his time. He provides a full catalogue of all the drawings in the Codex Wolfegg with notes on their derivation and their affiliations. All the drawings are illustrated and there is ample comparative illustration. There are indices of artists, of drawings after ancient monuments, and of the monuments themselves by present location.
The volume is published as a further instalment of the Warburg Institute’s programme of making available Renaissance sketchbooks after the antique. Publication has been supported by a grant from the Stiftung Volkswagenwerk.