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Satyr with Two Nymphs in a Landscape (recto), and Nessus and Dejanira (verso)

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Satyr with Two Nymphs in a Landscape (recto), and Nessus and Dejanira (verso)

17th century
20.7 x 24.7 cm (8 1/8 x 9 3/4 in.)

Valerio Castello (Genoa, Italy, 1624 - 1659, Genoa, Italy) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Brush and brown wash over red chalk (recto); pen and brown ink over red chalk (verso) on cream antique laid
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Kurt and Alessandra Manning-Dolnier in honor of Francesca Consagra, 2016
Accession Number: 2016.72.a-b

A recent gift, this drawing is explosive in its artistic energy: lines zigzag, trail off, and intensify. In mythological scenes on both sides—a satyr clamoring amongst nymphs and the Greek god Nessus abducting Deianira—Valerio Castello draws sharp angles and scribbles, with gentle washes of brown ink deflecting light.

Castello drew on both sides of this sheet—a common practice—exploring different ways of integrating brown ink with red chalk. The medium is marked by shifts in technique and gives us an opportunity to glimpse the experimental role of drawing in Castello’s creative process.

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