Cardinal Andrea della Valle’s courtyard

BETWEEN 1532 and 1536, the Dutch painter Maarten van Heemskerck, who would become famous for his fanciful recreations of the seven wonders of the world, visited Rome, where he sketched various antiques and collections of antiques. One of the largest at the time was that of the Cardinal Andrea della Valle, who in 1520 had an open courtyard built into his new palace by Lorenzetto to display it properly.

Most of Maarten van Heemskerck’s Roman drawings are in the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin. It seems that this particular one is lost, but it is preserved in the 1553 etching by Hieronymus Cock that you see above.