(b. ca. 1520, Crema, d. after 1585, Crema)

The Art of Cooking (recto)

Brown India ink over charcoal sketch, 199 x 146 mm
École Nationale Supérieur des Beaux-Arts, Paris

Carlo Urbino was an Italian painter, draftsman, and theorist who worked mainly in his native Crema and in Milan. He was the author of the Codex Huygens (New York, The Morgan Library and Museum), a collection of studies of proportion and perspective based, in part, on the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.

This drawing shows on each side a different draft for the composite portrait, The Art of Cooking. While the sketch on the front fills the entire page, the draft on the backside is contained within the upper left corner and depicted fragmentarily. The finer, thinner facial traits and the kettle representing the breast on the recto side convey a certain femininity in comparison to the figure on the verso side.

The organic, composite construction suggests the hand of Giuseppe Arcimboldo to whom the drawing was formerly attributed.