Animal Battle by Sinibaldo Scorza


A vigorous drawing for a tumultuous subject.

Animal Battle by Sinibaldo Scorza.

Sinibaldo Scorza

Voltaggio 1589 –  Gênes 1631

Animal Battle

Pen and brown ink.

182 x 302 mm – 7 3/16 x 11 7/8 in.

Trained in Genoa with Giovanni Battista Paggi, Sinibaldo Scorza was a painter and draughtsman who specialized in representing animals, which he usually inserted in mythological or religious scenes and landscapes. Scenes in which he can gather all sorts of animals, such as those from the Deluge or Orpheus, are among his favorites. His graphic technique, pen and brown ink with abundant hatchings, is very recognizable. A rare and interesting subject, this battle scene shows lions, eagles, bears, ostriches, horses, peacocks, pheasants, cats, dogs, and a bull, fighting in different groups. It is not related to a known painting but the post-death inventory made in 1631 by the artist’s son, Giovanni, mentioned a painted Animal Battle, still unidentified (Sinibaldo Scorza, Favole e natura all’alba del Barocco, exh. cat. under the direction of Anna Orlando, Genoa 2017, p. 21). Our drawing probably gives a good idea of this lost composition. Moreover, a sheet with similar dimensions in the National Museum in Krakow presents a close subject: A Lion eating Goats and other animals (MC inv. MNK XV-Rr. 740). Evoking a state of plain wilderness, this kind of subject may aim to set a counterpoint to the harmonious atmosphere of Orpheus charming animals, a theme that Scorza painted many times.

An exhibition was dedicated to the artist’s drawings in 2016 in Genoa. SINIBALDO SCORZA (1589-1631) “AVEZZO A MANEGGIARE LA PENNA DISSEGNANDO” Musei di Strada Nuova – Palazzo Rosso 11 febbraio – 4 giugno 2016

Condition report – Laid down on paper. A water stain on the left hand-side, a few grease stains on the right hand-side. Some foxing.