Poros Assailed by the Macedonian Army (recto); Sketches of Animals (verso)

Poros Assailed by the Macedonian Army (recto); Sketches of Animals (verso)

c. 1545/47

Part of a set. See all set records

Perino del Vaga

(Italian, 1500/01-1547)

Pen and brown ink (iron gall) and brush and brown wash; framing lines in gold paint

Sheet: 19.3 x 27.4 cm (7 5/8 x 10 13/16 in.); Secondary Support: 22.5 x 30.5 cm (8 7/8 x 12 in.)

Delia E. Holden and L. E. Holden Funds 1992.3


In the mid-1540s Perino del Vaga and Michelangelo were working in the Vatican in adjacent chambers. Perino made this spirited ink-and-wash drawing at the time as a preparatory sketch for a fresco cycle depicting the military campaigns of Alexander the Great, intended for the apartments of Pope Paul III in the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. Perino imagined the scene with a man in the front who, sword poised over his head, prepares to strike a man below. Probably inspired by Michelangelo’s rendering of David and Goliath on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Perino adapted the violent pose for a military rather than biblical subject.

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