Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Departure of Saint Paula and Saint Eustochium for the Holy Land

Giuseppe Bottani (Italian, Cremona 1717–1784 Mantua)
Red chalk; squared in black chalk
15 7/8 x 9 5/8in. (40.3 x 24.4cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of John Morton Morris, 1987
Accession Number:
Not on view
The drawing is a squared study with minor variations for Bottani's monumental altarpiece now in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, signed and dated 1745 ( 410 x 231 cm; inv. 410). The painting, generally considered the artist's early masterpiece, was executed in Rome and commissioned by the Hieronymites for their now-destroyed Milanese church of Santi Cosma e Damiano. To the right of the Roman widow Paula stands her daughter Eustochium, who accompanied her to the Holy Land to join Saint Jerome. Paula's daughter Rufina kisses her mother's hand in farewell, and Paula's son Toxotius kneels at the right. In preparation of his large canvas, Bottani realized an highly finished oil sketch, also part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no. 1991.445). Like many of Bottani's drawings, at his death the sheet was collected and annotated on the bottom by the artist's brother Giovanni, who provided the year of its execution, 1740. (Furio Rinaldi)
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink at lower border by the artist's brother Giuseppe Bottani: 'fatto da Giuseppe Bottani L'anno 1740 e il Quadro eseguito per S. Damianino alla Scala in Milano'; numbered in white chalk on old mount (now detached), 'N. 103 and N. 33.' Annotated on the back in modern blue pen: ' Anna Maria Elvira Celia Mendez de Bernasconi / 1977.'
Carlo Prayer (Italian, Milan 1826–1900); Félix Fernando Bernasconi (Italian, 1860–1914); Anna Maria Elvira Celia Mendez Bernasconi (died 2005), by 1977 (note on the back of the sheet dated 1977); Bernasconi sale, Christie's, LondonJanuary 4, 1987, lot 92 (as St Helena with Attendants); John Morton Morris (British); Donor: John Morton Morris
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," July 21, 1997–October 5, 1997.

Jacob Bean "Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." in Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1987 - June 30, 1988. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no.118, New York, 1988, p. 22.

Jacob Bean, William M. Griswold 18th Century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1990, cat. no. 13, fig. no. 13, p. 35, ill.

Chiara Tellini Perina "Un album di "Pensieri Originali" di Giuseppe Bottani." Paragone. No. 26 (593), 1999, p. 24.

l Primato del Disegno. I disegni dei grandi maestri a confronto con i dipinti della Pinacoteca di Brera: dai Primitivi a Modigliani Exh. cat. Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera (May 9 - July 19, 2015). Ed. by Sandrina Bandera, Milan, 2015, pp. 148-49, no. 48A (entry by Furio Rinaldi).

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