GIORGIO GHISI (FOLLOWER OF) (Mantua 1520-1582 Mantua) The Farnese Hercules.
Brush and light brown ink and black chalk on blue laid paper mounted on card stock. 420x235 mm; 16 1/2x9 1/4 inches.
Provenance: Unknown collection, inscription in pencil on the mount verso; private collection, Massachusetts.
This drawing appears to be closely related to the engraving by Ghisi from around 1575 (see Bartsch 58). Ghisi's engraving was intended for the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae (The Mirror of Roman Magnificence), a series of engravings brought together by the publishers Antonio Salamanca and Antonio Lafreri. The prints could be bought individually by tourists and collectors, but were also purchased in larger groups which were often bound together in an album. In 1573, Lafreri commissioned a title page for this purpose, which is where the title Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae first appears.