Black chalk on antique laid paper
Support: Antique laid paper
Sheet: 23.6 x 30.9 cm (9 5/16 x 12 3/16 in.)
Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2012.36
Since ancient times, artists have depicted river gods as reclining bearded men, often holding or leaning on a large urn pouring water. This example, a preparatory sketch for a painting, personifies the Tiber River, which plays a role in Rome’s legendary origins. Romulus, the founder of Rome, and his twin brother, Remus, were abandoned as infants at the river, where they were rescued by a she-wolf. Poccetti lightly sketched the animal’s head behind the river god along with the face of Romulus or Remus.
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