Betrayal and Death of the Daughter of Spurio Tarpeo
20.9 cm x 30.2 cm (8 1/4 in. x 11 7/8 in.)
(Moneglia, Italy, 1527 - 1585, El Escorial, Spain)
Medium and Support:
Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash, squared in red chalk
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Tarpeia, the daughter of Roman general Spurio Tarpeo, betrayed the fortress under her father’s command to the Sabines, but ironically was crushed when their forces entered. This was one of the secondary scenes of Roman history in the Villa Cattaneo-Imperiale, the first of the grand secular schemes executed by Cambiaso independent of Bergamasco. Stressing massing and light over de-scription, this is the preparatory study for the composition.