Copy in Reverse Design Orientation: Based on the Group of Reclining Figures at Left in Domenico Beccafumi's Scene of Moses Striking the Rock in the Pavement of Siena Cathedral
After Domenico Beccafumi (Italian, Cortine in Valdibiana Montaperti 1484–1551 Siena)
October 15, 1596
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk; framing line in pen and brown ink.
5 7/8 × 8 7/8 in. (15 × 22.5 cm), original sheet
Rogers Fund, 1919
Not on view
The figural group in this drawing was originally designed by Domenico Beccafumi for the pavement in intarsia in the Siena Cathedral which represents Moses Striking the Rock. The drawing is in reverse design orientation with respect to the original and includes only a small portion at left from Beccafumi's monumental oblong scene. This drawing is inscribed with the date "1596 otobre 15" (October 15, 1596) at center in the foreground, in tiny script probably either by the artist of the drawing or a more or less contemporary collector. The numeral "9" in the inscribed date has also been interpreted less convincingly as a numeral "4." Hence, Andrea De Marchi dated this drawing to around 1546, hence the same period as the pavement designs by Beccafumi for the Siena Cathedral, which is not unreasonable but is not persuasive. At an early point, an unnamed scholar noted on the mount of the Metropolitan Museum drawing that it may be a copy, in the same orientation, after the mpression of a chiaroscuro woodcut in the Albertina, Vienna (inv. It. H.I. fol. 94). See also Andrea De Marchi in Siena 1990, p. 493, under no. 162. Moreover, a reversed version of Beccafumi's design and in the direction of this drawing and the Albertina is preserved in an etching with two tone blocks (Morceaux Choisis, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, 1994, cat. no. 67. The reproductive chiaroscuro woodcuts have been attributed to Andrea Andreani. None of this, however, settles the authorship of the present drawing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, since the extant reproductive prints after Beccafumi's very popular designs for the pavement of the Siena Cathedral exist in both the same direction and in the mirror-image direction of the original compositions. (C. C. Bambach; August 2014)
Inscription: inscribed in pen and brown ink "1596 otobre 15"
Marking: Collectors' stamps: Sir Joshua Reynolds (Lugt 2364); Sir John Poynter (Lugt 874).
Sir Joshua Reynolds (British, Plympton 1723–1792 London); Sir Edward John Poynter (British (born France), Paris 1836–1919 London); his sale, Sotheby's, London, April 24–25, 1918, lot 15 (to Douglas); Vendor: Robert Langton Douglas (British, London 1864–1951)
Donato Sanminiatelli Domenico Beccafumi. Milan, 1967, p. 136.
Domenico Beccafumi e Il suo tempo. Exh. cat., Pinacoteca Nazionale and elsew., Siena (June 16- September 16, 1990). Edited by Fiorella Sricchia Santoro, Paola Barocchi, Milan, 1990, p. 493, under no. 162 (entry by Andrea De Marchi).
Piero Torriti, Mario Di Giampaolo Beccafumi. Milan, 1998, p. 331, under no D160.
Artist: Domenico Beccafumi (Italian, Cortine in Valdibiana Montaperti 1484–1551 Siena)Date: 1538Medium: Brush with brown, beige, and cream-colored tempera and emulsionAccession: 1974.216On view in:Not on view
Artist: Domenico Beccafumi (Italian, Cortine in Valdibiana Montaperti 1484–1551 Siena)Date: 1538Medium: Brush with brown, beige, and cream-colored tempera and emulsionAccession: 1975.97On view in:Not on view
Artist: Domenico Beccafumi (Italian, Cortine in Valdibiana Montaperti 1484–1551 Siena)Date: ca. 1547Medium: Chiaroscuro woodcut printed from one block in medium tone.Accession: 30.54.5On view in:Not on view