Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Studies for a Figure of Saint Francis Kneeling in a Three-Quarter View and for His Hands (recto); Studies for a Figure of Saint Francis Kneeling in Profile (verso)

Artist:
Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome)
Date:
1583–85
Medium:
Red chalk with white chalk highlights, pen and brown ink (recto); red chalk (verso)
Dimensions:
sheet: 13 1/4 x 11 5/16 in. (33.6 x 28.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1972
Accession Number:
1972.137.1
Not on view
The recto of this sheet, with studies for a kneeling Saint Francis with his arms extended, relate to the figure of the saint seen in the lower left foreground of the Pietà with Saints (Galleria Nazionale inv. 169, Parma; oil on canvas, 373.8 x 239.7 cm), a monumental altarpiece Annibale painted for the church of the Capuchin Fathers in Parma in 1585. The artist focused his attention on Saint Francis’s hands, as they have a key role in the narrative of the painting, which depicts the saint introducing the viewer to the dead body of Christ. The artist's command of anatomy is evident in the four repeated studies of this detail: one in pen and ink, the rest sharply rendered with red chalk. The saint recorded on this drawing was also possibly reused by the artist for the similar figure painted in a canvas with the St. Francis in Glory now in Venice, Galleria dell'Academia. On the verso, a kneeling Saint Francis in profile with his arms crossed resemble the figure of the saint (in reverse) in the lower left foreground of another altarpiece by Annibale, the Crucifixion with Saints (Santa Maria della Carità, Bologna), dated 1583.
 
The elongated figural type with small head, chiseled facial features, and rapt expression, as well as the arresting control of gesture that is evident in the studies of the hands seem typical of the draftsmanship of the young Annibale rather than that of Ludovico, as has recently been proposed by Babette Bohn and John Cavostal (written communications, 1995 and 1998). Both scholars relate to the drawing for the ‘Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria’ in Göteborgs Konstmuseum (inv. 1303). While the pose of the figure at first seems rather close, it is difficult to reconcile the style and handling of the drawing to anything presently given to Ludovico in these years. The significant differences in pose and drapery bring it little closer than to Annibale's Pietà, while the looseness of the handling is very much the latter's. A red chalk study for the figure of the dead Christ in the center of the picture is preserved in the Uffizi, Florence (inv. 12418 F). Ann Sutherland Harris lately confirmed the attribution to Annibale Carracci in a written communication to the Museum (2008). (F.R.)
Inscription: The verso of old mount is annotated by a 19th-century British hand (scribe, working for the 1st Earl of Ellesmere; numbers and text relate to Bridgewater House catalogue, later published, London, 1898), near center, in pen and black ink: "80 Annibale Carracci. A monk on his knees + [and] studies of hands; red/ chalk, heightened with white. Size 13" x 11". From the Collections of the Marquis Legoy + [and] Sir Thomas Lawrence".
The verso is annotated by an early modern hand, near center, in graphite: "C".

Marking: Stamp, at lower right, Marquis de Lagoy (Lugt 1710)
Jean-Baptiste-Florentin-Gabriel de Meryan, marquis de Lagoy (French, 1764–1829)(Lugt 1710); Sir Thomas Lawrence (British, Bristol 1769–1830 London); Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere (British, London 1800–1857 London)(Lugt Suppl. 2710b); John Sutherland Egerton, 6th Duke of Sutherland (British, 1915–2000); on temporary loan to the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery; Sotheby's, London, July 11, 1972, no. 49, r. and v. repr.
Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna. "Mostra dei Carracci," September 1, 1956–November 25, 1956.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints by the Carracci," April 24, 1973–July 1, 1973.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings Recently Acquired: 1972-1975," October 1, 1975–January 4, 1975.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 27, 1995–February 25, 1996.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 25, 2016–January 30, 2017.

Sixth Exhibition: One Hundred Original Drawings by Ludovico, Agostino, and Annibal Carracci.. Lawrence Gallery and Messrs. Woodburn's Gallery, London, London, 1836, cat. no. 98.

Catalogue of the Ellesmere Collection of Drawings at Bridgewater House. Ellesmere Collection at Bridgewater, London, Bridgewater House, London, 1898, cat. no. 80.

P. A. Tomory The Ellesmere Collection of Old Master Drawings Exh. cat. Leicester, 1954, no. 42 recto.

Drawings by the Carracci and other Masters. Exh. cat. P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., 1955, no. 21.

Ralph Holland, London The Carracci, Drawings and Prints. Exhibition Catalogue: The Hatton Gallery. Newcastle upon Tyne, 1961, 146.

Sir Denis Mahon, Maurizio Calvesi Mostra dei Carracci. Disegni. Exh. cat., Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna (Sept. 1 - Nov. 25, 1956). 2nd edition revised and corrected (1st. in 1956). Bologna, 1963, pp. 75-76, no. 91 (as "Scozia, collezione del Conte di Ellesmere in deposito al Leicester Museums and Art Gallery").

Donald Posner Annibale Carracci: A Study in the Reform of Italian Painting Around 1590. vol. 1, 5. Phaidon, London, 1971, vol. 2, p. 13, no. 24 c.

Jacob Bean Drawings and Prints by the Carracci. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (April 24-July 1, 1973). New York, 1973, cat. no. 10.

Jacob Bean European Drawings Recently Acquired, 1972-1975 Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1975, no. 11.

Gianfranco Malafarina, J. Patrick Cooney L'opera completa di Annibale Carracci. Milan, 1976, cat. no. 23, ill.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 17th century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, p. 65, no. 96.

Alessandro Brogi Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619). 2 vols., Bologna, 2001, p. 105, fig. 326, under no. 4.

Babette Bohn Ludovico Carracci and the Art of Drawing. Belgium, 2004, pp. 114-15, no. 16 (as by Ludovico Carracci).



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