17 July 2013


Images from ASVe Senato Mar b. 12.

The drawings here are from the front and back pages of volume 12 of the Venetian Stato Mar registers which covers March 1484 through February 1485, that is, the years 1484-1485 according to the Venetian calendar. The pages in the register are made of vellum. This can be found on the internet but one of the pleasures of in-person research is getting to touch those pages, smoother on the recto side, more textured on the verso.

All of these drawings, with the possible exception of one, are portraits, all face to the left. There is a strong element of caricature. Noses get a great deal of attention. A few drawings show exceptional ability. I have not identified any of the faces portrayed except for (I think) the last, but if anyone can put a name to a face, I'd be delighted to know.  And I would love to know if anyone has collected and studied these drawings from the official archives.

I am not positive that this exercise on A is an intentional face. It may be spots on the page.

 Here there has been an attempt to correct the proportions of the head.     

 More corrections.  Sometimes the faces overlap.

A closeup of the bottom face, a man with the typical Venetian hat, and an attempt at indexing.

The final three portraits are, I think, extraordinary.

?? Doge Marco Barbarigo. (1485-1486) ??


  1. He looks alive in this one!

    best regards,

  2. these are really wonderful!

  3. It is amazing how you can unveil significance where we all others fail. Bravo! Since "noses get a great deal of attention" the last figure brought to mind the nose of Piero della Fransesca's Federico da Montefeltro

  4. Sorry I can't add in here the picture from another volume of the last figure here. Clearly the same person, but there the nose droops down & doesn't have that Montefeltro kind of bridge.


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