Ulisse Aldrovandi’s book is far more than a simple list of statues in Rome, as the systematic character of his recording of the ancient works in terms of multiple parameters reveals. Aldrovandi’s detailed and accurate descriptions of ancient statues, busts, and multi-figured reliefs indicate that, for the final composition of his text, he had at his disposal not only accurate lists and careful notes made in situ but also very clear drawings. In writing to his brother in 1576, we may recall, he affirms that there was not a statue in Rome that he did not draw or [richtig: AND!] describe: "non lasciando alcuna statua che in quell'Alma città di Roma si ritrova, che da me non fosse diligentemente delineata, et descritta". [FN 20]


Aldrovandi's descriptions bespeak the assistance of an able draftsman, one whose exact graphic records will have resembled those by the Master of the Codex Coburgensis, executed in Rome at the same time, in the years between 1550 and 1555. [FN 23]