NORTH ITALIAN SCHOOL
A Sheet from a Model Book with Four Studies of Deer and a Falcon (280 x 205 mm.)
Italy, Lombardy or the Veneto, c. 1500
This sheet demonstrates a number of elements characteristic of the late Gothic model book, which functioned to preserve images of stock forms for use by successive generations or in a workshop. The studies here depict deer and stags in various poses set on articulated grounds, a falcon perched on a stick, and antlers of various forms. The blue tinted surface extends the tonal range that the artist was able to achieve with the use of colored washes. The template-like quality of the present sheet suggests that it was executed after another copy which was itself at several removes from the original. The focus on animals and birds echoes the subject matter of earlier Lombard and Venetian examples.