Man in Armor beside a Chariot

Man in Armor beside a Chariot

c. 1550

assistant of Francesco Salviati

(Italian, 1510-1563)

Pen and brown ink and brush and brown wash over black chalk, heightened with white

Support: Brown-green laid(?) paper, laid down on brown laid(?) paper, laid down on a tertiary support of board

Sheet: 35.7 x 27.1 cm (14 1/16 x 10 11/16 in.); Secondary Support: 35.7 x 27.4 cm (14 1/16 x 10 13/16 in.); Tertiary Support: 35.8 x 27.4 cm (14 1/8 x 10 13/16 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1964.99

Description

This drawing of a young soldier setting fire to a cart of war trophies may represent a rarely depicted legend about the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (356–323 BC), who built one of the largest empires of the ancient world by the time he was 30 years old. Because the heavy spoils of war were slowing down his troops, Alexander set fire to his own cart of goods to encourage his soldiers to do the same. Renaissance princes revered him as a brilliant military strategist. Emperor Maximilian I (reigned 1486–1519), pictured in the equestrian portrait and in the great triumphal car nearby, considered Alexander a distant ancestor.

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