The design book of Filippo Orsoni

These pages come from an album of drawings in pen, ink and wash with yellow watercolour. The album contains 306 pages of designs for armour and weapons. These designs were the work of a little-known painter called Filippo Orsoni, from Mantua in northern Italy. One of the pages is dated 1554. Orsoni may have wanted the designs to be published as many are annotated with self-promoting captions that openly tout for business.