Black chalk, red, yellow, and pink pastel, highlighted with white on gray-green paper
13-/4 x 9-11/16 in. (34.9 x 24.6 cm)
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 1981
Not on view
Consecutively active in Rome, Mantua, and Venice, Domenico Fetti is best known for his history paintings, but this drawing clearly exemplyfies his virtuosity as a fine portraitist. The intensity of the gaze of this astutely observed sitter recalls Fetti's celebrated painting, the Portrait of an Actor, in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. The highly controlled pastel technique Fetti is displaying here might have come from his master Lodovico Cigoli or might have been inspired by earlier examples by Federico Barocci and Jacopo Bassano. The attribution to Domenico Fetti goes back to the time of the French collector Pierre-Jean Mariette, whose attribution is elegantly inscribed on his signature-blue mount.
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink at upper right, "6." Dated below lower right border on mount, 1589-1629; on the Mariette mount within a cartouche, "DOMINICUS / FETI ROMAN.", and in another hand, "sc. del Cigoli."
Marking: Collectors' stamps: Pierre-Jean Mariette (Lugt 1852), Jean-Baptiste-Florentin-Gabriel de Meryan, marquis de Lagoy (Lugt 1710), unidentified collector's stamp in blue ink (close to Lugt 3852).
Pierre Jean Mariette (French, Paris 1694–1774 Paris); Mariette Paris sale, 1775-76, no. 403 (as "Ure belle Tête de Vieillard"); Jean-Baptiste-Florentin-Gabriel de Meryan, marquis de Lagoy (French, 1764–1829); Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse de Villenave (French, Haute-Garonne 1762–1846 Paris); de Villenave sale, Paris, Alliance des Arts (Paris), December 1–3, 5–8, 1842, lot 77; Frederik Muller & Cie (Amsterdam), November 20, 1882; Lanna Sale, Stuttgart; Sale, H. G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart, May 6–11, 1910, no. 135; acquired from a Parisian paris collector by Alfred Strölin (French, 1871–1954)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 27, 1995–February 25, 1996.
Dessins du XVIe et du XVIIe siecle dans les collection privees francais. Galerie Claude Aubry, Paris, December 1971, cat. no. no. 49, ill.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, cat. no. Appendix 9, fig. no. Appendix 9, pp. 302-03, ill.