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Rome in the Time of Clement VIII

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Personification of Justice

circa 1596-1602
16th-17th century
40.3 cm x 28.2 cm (15 7/8 in. x 11 1/8 in.)

Cherubino Alberti (Tuscany, 1553 - 1615, Rome) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Pen and brown ink with brush and blue wash over black chalk
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Ian Kennedy, 2001
Accession Number: 2001.39

No doubt aided by their Tuscan origins, Cherubino and his brother Giovanni were called by Clement to decorate a grand hall, the Sala Clementina, in the Vatican Palace, their most prestigious commission. This drawing is closely related to the Cardinal Virtues that populate an illusionistic balustrade on the hall’s ceiling. On the one hand, the figure’s stylized form and looping calligraphy correspond to late Mannerism, especially the work of Federico Zuccaro. On the other, the drawing’s coherent and dramatic light seems a response to the work of Caravaggio, with whom Cherubino was friendly.

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