Drawing, executed in pen and brown ink with grey wash, 240 × 394 mm.
A drawing from Cassiano dal Pozzo’s “Museo Cartaceo”, recording alternative schemes for the decoration of a room approximately 61 feet in length with four, irregularly spaced rectangular windows, precisely matching the Salone di Costantino in the Lateran Palace built by Sixtus V in 1585-1589. The project shown was not executed and the room was decorated later by others. The sheet was exhibited in Rome in 2000 and in Biella in 2001-2002 with an attribution to Cherubino Alberti. The editors of the volumes devoted to architectural and topographical drawings from the Paper Museum commissioned and collected by Cassiano dal Pozzo, have catalogued it as “Late Sixteenth-century Italian” (The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo: a catalogue raisonné. Series A, Antiquities and architecture; pt. 10: Renaissance and later architecture and ornament, by Paul Davies and David Hemsoll, [London] 2013, II, pp.410-411 no. 153, reproduced).
It is now apparent that Cassiano collected avidly both “artistic” and “documentary” drawings made before the birth of the Paper Museum. The sources of these drawings are unknown; it is supposed that some were purchased; some received as gifts from Cassiano’s numerous correspondents, and that others entered the Paper Museum by bequest. These drawings extended the encyclopaedic range of the Paper Museum and it is speculated that they were acquired to assist the education of the “giovani ben intendenti del disegno” whom Cassiano employed.
The Tuscan origin of the Alberti family and their use of quadratura perspective were major recommendations to Cassiano dal Pozzo and he owned many works by them, including at least four drawings by Cherubino and two paintings by his younger brother Giovanni (1558-1601). During the 1630s, Cassiano commissioned for his “Museo Cartaceo” a set of copies of drawings of architectural fragments by their father, Alberto Alberti (1526-1598). He employed a relation, Pierfrancesco Alberti (1584-1638), to make line drawings and diagrams for his projected publication of Leonardo’s Trattato della Pittura.