Work of the Week: Unknown Artist after Sebastiano Serlio,“Study for a Stage Design: Street Lined with Palatial Buildings”
We do not know who drew this delicate ink and chalk drawing. We do know, however, that it is a copy of a woodcut from a book rather famous at the time, the Second Book on Perspective by Italian architect and theorist Sebastiano Serlio (published in 1545). Today, Serlio is remembered as the author of the first architectural treatise in a modern language to be printed with illustrations, also the first to devote an entire section to the theatre. That is where we find the source image for this drawing, titled The Tragic Scene. The drawing may have been a lesson in perspective (apprentices repeatedly copied works by other artists in order to master various skills, types of compositions, or media), or a point of departure for a different composition.