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Allegorical Composition: Music and Justice with the Spinola Arms

Artist:
Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Il Baciccio) (Italian, Genoa 1639–1709 Rome)
Date:
1639–1709
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white, over black chalk, on rose-washed paper
Dimensions:
7-13/16 x 5-5/16 in. (19.9 x 13.5 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1963
Accession Number:
63.103.2
Not on view
Once owned by the distinguished French collector Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694-1774), this highly finished drawing appears in the 1775-76 sale catalogue of his collection. It has been identified as preparatory for the frontispiece of "Il Corradino," a libretto for a tragedy set in medieval Naples, written by Antonio Caraccio (1630-1702), and published in Rome in 1694 (see Rome 1994, and Bibliography). The fasces held by a cherub at the upper right and the scales are attributes of Justice, who prominently bears a shield with the arms of the Spinola, among Genoa's oldest patrician families. "Il Corradino" was dedicated to Giovanni Battista Spinola, then governor of Rome. The seated female figure holding an array of wind instruments may personify Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry and music, an appropriate reference in a libretto. The Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius are depicted in the distant background (Bean 1979, no. 226). The Metropolitan Museum sheet is closer in design to the published frontispiece, engraved by Robert van Audenaerde, than is a related drawing in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (inv. no. FP 1929)

(Carmen C. Bambach, 1995, revised 2014)
Inscription: Annotated in graphite at lower border, "Design for the well known picture. A. Vandyck." On verso in graphite, "Mariette Collection/ A. Vandyck/ b/ 1599 - d. 1614"; in pen and faded brown ink in a hand similar to that of John Barnard, "A. Van Dyck."

Marking: Collector's stamp of Pierre-Jean Mariette on lower left of recto (Lugt 1852); mark of Barry Delany on lower right of verso (Lugt 350). Annotated in the hand of John Barnard (Lugt 1419) in pen and brown ink on upper right of verso, J.Bn/ No-2R13/ 15, and in the same hand at left: N 15. An unidentified watermark of circle with a cross on top and a star shape inside.
Pierre Jean Mariette (French, Paris 1694–1774 Paris); John Barnard the Younger (British, 1705–1784); Dr. Barry Delany (Irish, active before 1875); Baron Harry Louis Nathan of Churt (British, 1889–1963); Sotheby's, London- May 21, 1963, no. 148, as Flemish School.; P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Genoa: Drawings and Prints, 1530-1800," April 23, 1996–July 10, 1996.

Dieter Graf "Handzeichnungen, Die Handzeichnungen von Guglielmo Cortese und Giovanni Battista Gaulli." Kataloge des Kunstmuseums Düsseldorf. vols. 1, 2, Düsseldorf, 1976, vol. 1, p. 112.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 17th century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, p. 172, no. 226, repr.

Carmen C. Bambach, Nadine Orenstein, William M. Griswold, Allegra Pesenti Genoa: Drawings and Prints, 1530-1800 Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1996, p. 73, no. 83, repr.



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