Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517)

An Italian Town (recto), A Farm Among Trees (verso)

Italy

Pen, brown and black ink

288 x 217 mm

On the recto of this sheet, a well-balanced composition depicting an unidentified Italian landscape is one of many sketches from nature by Bartolommeo. It shows a fortified town surrounded by trees and a valley stretching towards the foreground. The scene is enlivened by people walking away from the spectator.

On the verso of this page, farm houses are nestled among trees and two figures stand close to the building. The surrounding hills and fields are implied by the fine gestures of the pen and ink. The landscape depicted in this sketch remains unidentified, although other landscapes drawn in a similar period by the artist have been attached to sites in Florence, Italy. This and other such sketches by Bartolommeo are unique documents of early 16th-century landscape drawing practice.

Purchased 1957 (No. 57.14)

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