Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Nine Studies of the Moses in Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma (recto); Nine Studies for the Eve in Santa Maria della Steccata, Parma (verso)

Artist:
Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola) (Italian, Parma 1503–1540 Casalmaggiore)
Date:
1503–40
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk, on beige paper (recto and verso)
Dimensions:
8 5/16 x 6in. (21.1 x 15.3cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Pfeiffer Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
62.135
Not on view
The stunning sketches for the figures of Moses and Eve on this celebrated double-sided sheet are preparatory for two of the four large fictive statues (frescoed in monochrome) within the oval niches that are at the base of the two narrow soffits, undersides of the supporting arches, on either side of the barrel vault of the Church of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma. In the frescoes, Moses is paired with Aaron on the underside of the arch toward the crossing, and Eve with Adam on that toward the apse. This drawing offers an amazing glimpse into Parmigianino's sketching process, for each idea unfolds with the kind of spellbinding facility that instantly speaks of genius. He explored at least nine poses for each figure, and also fluently moved about the figure from various angles of view. The viewing angles for the fictive marble sculptures in monochrome, with respect to the larger figures of the canephori, were crucially important in the overall illusionism of the frescoes. The enormity of the actual architecture space toward the crossing in the church offers multiple vantage points for Parmigianino's frescoes. In each of the sketches on the sheet, the figure is always seen carefully integrated within corresponding oval niche (the artist faintly indicated the borders of the soffit with parallel lines drawn in leadpoint). On the recto, the Moses figure in the bottom row, second from the left border - showing the irate patriarch with raised arms, about to shatter the tablets of the Ten Commandments - comes closest to the final form of the fresco. A softly drawn study in the Louvre (Popham no. 355) develops this active pose for Moses on a larger scale. Studies in the Louvre and in Parma showing Moses in a seated static pose, although more detailed and finished than the present sketches, must belong to an earlier and discarded phase of planning . Intriguingly, a detailed copy of one of the figures of Moses in the present sheet turns up on a pages of Girolamo da Carpi's sketchbook from 1549-53, complete with the original's oval framework and pentimenti (tentative outlines) (illustrated and discussed in Canedy 1976 pl. T 26). Although the verso is not mentioned, the Meuseum drawing is probably the item listed in the 1561 inventory of Cavaliere Francesco Baiardo's possessions as "115. Un' disegno di noue figurine di Moysè diferenti l'uno dall'altra di chiaro, et scuro finite in parte dil Parmesanino alte 0 2 l'uno" (a drawing of nine little figures of Moses, each different from the other, partly finished in chiaroscuro by Parmigianino). On the verso, the top five sketches of Eve along the upper right closely convey her pose as finally frescoed in the Steccata: she is seen almost frontally, at the moment of picking the apple from the tree of knowledge with her right hand. The various extant preliminary drawings for this figure all seem to represent a stage of planning prior to the present sheet. (Carmen C. Bambach in Correggio and Parmigianino: Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance, ed. by C.C. Bambach, H. Chapman, M. Clayton and G.R. Goldner, New York and London 2000, pp. 163-65, no. 114)
Inscription: Numbered in pen and brown ink at upper margin of verso, 48.

Marking: Collector's mark of Vivant-Denon stamped in black at lower right of recto (Lugt 779). Collector's mark of Sir Thomas Lawrence blindstamped at lower left recto (Lugt 2445).
Possibly Cavaliere Francesco Baiardo (Italian, Parma 1486–1561)(no. 115 of his 1561 inventory as "disegno di noue figurine"); Earl of Arundel; Anton Maria Zanetti the Elder (Italian, Venice 1680–1767 Venice)(according to Lawrence); Dominique Vivant Denon (French, Givry 1747–1825 Paris); Sir Thomas Lawrence (British, Bristol 1769–1830 London); Captain Richard Ford (British, 1796–1858); his sale, Sotheby's, London, April 25, 1934, lot 29 (to Colnaghi); P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.; Sir Bruce S. Ingram O.B.E., M.C. (British, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, 1877–1963); Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings from New York Collections I: The Italian Renaissance," November 8, 1965–January 9, 1966.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Old Master Drawings from American Collections," April 29, 1976–June 13, 1976.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Emilian Drawings and Prints in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1500-1700," March 26, 1987–May 24, 1987.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 6, 1997–January 4, 1998.

Musée du Louvre, Paris. "Dominique Vivant-Denon: l'Oeil de Napoléon," October 20, 1999–January 17, 2000.

British Museum, London. "Correggio and Parmigianino: Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance," October 6, 2000–January 7, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Correggio and Parmigianino Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance," February 5, 2001–May 6, 2001.

Galleria Nazionale, Parma. "Parimigianino e il manierismo europeo," February 8, 2003–May 15, 2003.

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. "The Art of Parmigianino," March 10, 2003–January 4, 2004.

The Frick Collection, New York. "The Art of Parmigianino," January 27, 2004–April 18, 2004.

Musée Fabre, Montpellier. "L'Atelier de l'oeuvre, dessins italiens du Musée Fabre," February 16, 2013–May 12, 2013.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague," November 3, 2014–February 1, 2015.

Dominique Vivant Denon, Amaury Duval Monuments des Arts du Dessin chez les Peuples Tant Anciens que Modernes Recueillis par le Baron Vivan Denon. 4 vols., Paris, 1829, Vol. 3, pl. 157, recto and verso in reverse.

Fourth Exhibition: A Catalogue of One Hundred Original Drawings by Il Parmigianino and Ant. da Correggio, Collected by Sir Thomas Lawrence.. Lawrence Gallery, London, 1835, cat. no. 21, p. 10.

Rudolph Weigel Die Werke der Maler in ihren Handzeichnungen.... Leipzig, 1865, no. 5819.

Holburne of Menstrie Museum of Art, Bath Old Master Drawings: A Loan Exhibition From the Collection of Sir Bruce S. Ingram. 1952, cat. no. 2.

Old Master Drawings: A Loan Exhibition from the Collection of Sir Bruce Ingram. Exh. cat. P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., 1952.

Old Master Drawings. Exh. cat. Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, England, 1952, cat. no. 44.

Regina Shoolman Five Centuries of Drawings Exh. cat., October - November. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 1953, cat. no. 46, ill.

Arthur Ewart Popham The Drawings of Parmigianino.. London, 1953, fig. no. pls. 56, 57, pp. 40, 64, ill.

De Triomg van het Manierisme. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Amsterdam, 1955, cat. no. 231, fig. no. pl. 45, ill.

Italian Art in Britain. Exh. cat. Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1960, cat. no. 468.

Carlos van Hasselt 150 tekeningen uit vier eeuwen: uit de verzameling van Sir Bruce en Lady Ingram. Exh. cat., Rotterdam: 17 December 1961 - 28 January 1962, Amsterdam: 4 February - 18 March, 1962. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Prentenkabinet-Rijksmuseum, Rijksprentenkabinett, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, 1961-1962, cat. no. 142, fig. no. pl. 2, ill.

Jacob Bean "Form and Function in Italian Drawings: Observations on Several New Acquisitions." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 21, no. 7, New York, March 1963, fig. no. 3, 4, pp. 231-232, ill.

Jacob Bean 100 European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York Graphic Society, New York, 1964, cat. no. 21, fig. no. 21, ill.

Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. I: The Italian Renaissance. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1965, p. 60, no. 94, ill.

Arthur Ewart Popham The Baiardo Inventory: Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art Presented to Sir Anthony Blunt. London, 1967, p. 29.

Arthur Ewart Popham, Philip Pouncey Italian Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: Artists Working in Parma in the Sixteenth Century.. 2 vols., London, 1967, pp. 75, 77, 87.

John Shearman Mannerism. London, 1967, cat. no. 19, pp. 47, 193, ill.

Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco Il Parmigianino. Rome, 1970, fig. no. figs. 253, 254, pp. 74, 277, ill.

Arthur Ewart Popham Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino. 3 vols., New Haven and London, 1971, Vol. 1, p. 120, no. 301, vol. 3, pl. 330 (ill. recto and verso)., ill.

A. Ghidiglia Quintavalle Gli Ultimi Affreschi del Parmigianino. Milan, 1971, fig. no. figs. 67, 68, p. 78, ill.

Ebria Feinblatt Old Master Drawings from American Collections. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1976, cat. no. 82, fig. no. 82, p. 72., 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. 153, fig. no. 153, pp. 158, 160-62, ill.

Teresa Pugliatti Giulio Mazzoni. Rome, 1984, cat. no. 142, p. 380.

Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò "Thomas Howard, comte d'Arundel" Le dessin: Les grands collectionneurs. Turin, 1992a, fig. no. 93, pp. 85-88.

Dominique-Vivant Denon, L'oeil de Napoléon. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre, Paris, October 20, 1999-January 17, 2000. Pierre Rosenberg, Paris, 1999, no. 557.

Carmen C. Bambach, Martin Clayton, George R. Goldner, Hugo Chapman Correggio and Parmigianino: Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance. Exh. cat., The British Museum, London, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. London, 2000-2001, pp. 163-65, no. 114, figs. 114r-v (entry by Carmen C. Bambach).

David Franklin, David Ekserdjian The Art of Parmigianino. Exh. cat., The Frick Collection, New York and The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. New Haven and London, 2003, cat. no. 68, pp. 222-237, ill.

Lucia Fornari Schianchi, Sylvia Ferino-Pagden Parmigianino e il manierismo europeo. Exh. cat., Galleria Nazionale, Parma (Feb. 8 - May 15, 2003), and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Jun. 4 - Sep. 14, 2003). Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2003, pp. 321-22, nos. 2.3.111.a and 2.3.111.b (entry by Hugo Chapman).

Mario Di Giampaolo, Donatella Cingottini "Il Parmigianino: nuovi disegni ed un bozzetto" Commentari d'arte. no. 13, 2007, pp. 54-62 and n. 40.

Achim Gnann Parmigianino: Die Zeichnungen. 2 Vols., Petersberg, Germany, 2007, p. 476, no. 782.

Mario Di Giampaolo Mario di Giampaolo. Scritti sul disegno italiano 1971-2008. Ed. by Cristiana Garofalo, Florence, 2010, p. 145.

Éric Pagliano "Dessins de liason - dessin de survivance. Deux formules de disposition intergénétique graphique." Studiolo. Vol. 10, 2013, pp. 220, 225 (n. 23), fig. 11 (verso only repr.).

Éric Pagliano L'atelier de l'oeuvre. Dessins italiens du Musée Fabre. Catalogue des dessins exposés suivi du répertoire du fonds. Montpellier and Kortrijk, 2013, pp. 272, 275, under no. 70, fig. 6.

Laura Giles, Lia Markey, Claire Van Cleave Italian Master Drawings from the Princeton University Art Museum. Princeton, 2014, p. 47 note 2, under no. 17 (entry by Laura Giles).

Xavier Salomon Veronese 1528-1588 Catalogue of the exhibition "Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice", The National Gallery, London (March 19 - June 15, 2014). London, 2014, pp. 44-45, fig. 23.



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