This composition relates closely to the background of a fresco showing The return of Pier Maria de’ Rossis to Parma in 1470 and his declaration as Father of his Country in the Palazzo Rossi at San Secondo Parmese, Rocca (Fig. 1). The fresco is part of a cycle of thirteen scenes celebrating the deeds of the Rossi family. The authorship of the frescoes, and indeed of the drawings, have been the subject of much scholarly debate and at least some of the frescoes are now thought to be by artists from Bertoia’s circle who based their work on the master’s designs. Diane De Grazia has confirmed the authorship of the present sheet on the basis of comparison with a double-sided drawing in Madrid for the same fresco cycle (op. cit., 1991, no. D41, figs. 157 and 160). Two further drawings for the same cycle are known: one in the Royal Collection, Windsor Castle and another in a private collection in the United States (ibid., nos. D95, fig. 155 and D79, fig. 167).
Fig. 1. School of Jacopo Zanguidi, il Bertoia, The return of Pier Maria de’ Rossi to Parma in 1470 and his declaration as Father of his Country, fresco, Palazzo Rossi at San Secondo Parmese, Rocca.