Beni Culturali Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico per il Polo Museale della città di Roma

Ink-pot with Putti

Calamaio con putti - Ink-pot with putti
Object belonging
One's own
Bronze sculpture
Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia
Specific location
Room 16
PV 09234
Material and technique
Bronze, brown-green patina, slight traces of black lacquer in the relief background and along the edges
Northern Italian School (Padua?)
Mid-16th century
7.1 x 11.3 cm.
Barsanti Collection
Image copyright
SSPSAE e per il Polo Museale della città di Roma

Short description

This ink-pot, resembling a well, is embellished with a central relief, which would appear to be inspired from plaques representing Bacchanalian Young Boys, examples of which are to be found in many museums. In this ink-pot from Palazzo Venezia the bronze plaque images recur four times, although on the far right hand side (with a leafless tree) and on a small section in the middle part (with a leafy tree) the images have been reduced. In order to complete the decoration, the young boy recurs for the fifth time standing on the left side of the plaque. The origins of the plaque help little in identifying the author of the bronze, although they do suggest that the ink-pot was not moulded, as Pollak and Santangelo had suggested, by one of Donatello's followers or by some other early 15th century Florentine artist. The bronze may instead have been made by an artist working in Northern Italy, possibly Padua, during the early 16th century.

Pietro Cannata


L. Pollak, Raccolta Alfredo Barsanti (Trecento-Settecento), Bergamo 1922, p. 20, no. 7; A. Santangelo, Museo di Palazzo Venezia. Catalogo delle sculture, Rome 1954, p. 41; P. Cannata, Rilievi e plachette dal XV al XVIII secolo, exh. cat., Rome 1982, pp.69-70, no. 63.

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