Federico Barocci (Italian, Urbino ca. 1535–1612 Urbino)
Brush and oil paint on paper
15 3/8 x 10 13/16in. (39.1 x 27.5cm)
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 1976
Not on view
Barocci was among the pioneers of the oil sketch in Italy. This dazzling full-scale study in color was preparatory for the figure of Saint Elizabeth in his famous Visitation altarpiece (Santa Maria in Vallicella or "Chiesa Nuova," Rome), painted between 1584 and 1586. In the final work, the saint's head would become more idealized and serene of feature, and the technique of execution much less sketchy. Barocci was an indefatigable and stunningly fluent draftsman. For the Visitation altarpiece, he prepared also a great number of small-scale composition sketches and detailed figure studies based on the live model, as well as an imposing cartoon (full-scale drawing) in charcoal (now in the Uffizi, Florence inv. 1784 E). The Museum’s drawing appears to be the only extant oil sketch relating to the Visitation, and as comparison with the extant cartoon fragment can confirm, the oil sketch was a step of refinement in the design process beyond the cartoon. (C.C.B.)
Mr. Gorton (British)-- purchased from widow by G. Agnew, 1975; Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London), London--1976
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Andrea Emiliani, Giovanna Bertalà Mostra di Federico Barocci. Exh. cat., Museo Civico, Bologna (September 14 -November 16, 1975). Bologna, 1975, (as England, Private Collection), cat. no. no. 160, fig. no. no. 160, ill.
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Judith W. Mann, Babette Bohn, Carol Plazzotta Federico Barocci: Renaissance Master of Color and Line Exh. cat. Saint Louis Art Museum and London, National Gallery. New Haven and Saint Louis, 2012, cat. no. 10.6, pp. 203-204, 211, n. 34, ill.