Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Adoration of the Shepherds

Artist:
Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola) (Italian, Parma 1503–1540 Casalmaggiore)
Date:
1524–27
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, highlighted with white gouache over traces of black and a little red chalk (at upper left), on brownish paper
Dimensions:
sheet: 8 9/16 x 5 7/8 in. (21.7 x 14.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1946
Accession Number:
46.80.3
Not on view
In comparison with a similar composition in the British Museum, London (inv. 1853,0108.3), this fairly detailed design shows the kneeling Virgin facing to the right rather than to the left, and the agitated poses of the shepherds now tamed into classical balance and restraint. The Metropolitan Museum sheet also offers evidence for a dating of the Adoration of the Shepherds drawings early rather than late in Parmigianino's Roman years, because the pose of the large standing nude man drawn in red chalk on the recto of a drawing in Cambridge (Harvard Art Museum inv. 1969.32) is echoed in the shepherd standing here on the left, and the general idea for the seated shepherds seen on the left in the recto of a sheet in a private collection (Popham no. 747), bearing a Parmese watermark, is also taken up here. The finished drawing by Parmigianino in Weimar (Popham no. 631) for Jacopo Caraglio's engraving of 1526 is horizontal rather than vertical in format. The Christ Child there is held up by an onlooker from a pillow-covered manger. In spite of such differences, the poses of a few figures around the Infant Christ resemble those in the Metropolitan Museum sheet. The Uffizi drawing of the Adoration of the Shepherds (Popham no. 72), also in a horizontal format and no longer showing the Virgin clearly bathing the Christ Child, seems to represent an intermediate stage of planning, when the composition went from the vertical format to the horizontal format of the Weimar drawing. The paper of the present sheet has darkened due to light exposure, thus diminishing the original airiness of its pen and ink with wash technique. A separate study for the figure of the shepherd seen carrying a lamb on the left is at Chatsworth, Devonshire collection (Popham no. 717). A drawing of good quality by a sixteenth-century copyist in the Fondazione Horne, Florence, closely imitates the Metropolitan Museum composition (Collobi Ragghianti 1972, pp. 44-9, fig. 14, incorrectly attributed to Pellegrino Tibaldi). The differences in detail in that sheet, however, suggest that the copyist probably worked from a lost variant of the Museum sheet.
(Carmen C. Bambach, in 'Correggio and Parmigianino: Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance.' Exh. cat. New York and London 2000, p. 127, no. 81)
Marking: Collectors' marks: (at lower left recto) T.L. (Thomas Lawrence; Lugt 2445); Vind. (Vicomte Morel de Vindé; Lugt 2520); (at lower right-hand edge, almost obliterated) C (William Coningham; Lugt 476) stamped blind.
Conrad Martin Metz (German, Bonn 1749–1827 Rome); Gilbert Paignon-Dijonval (French, 1708–1792); Charles-Gilbert Terray Morel de Vindé (French, 1759–1842); Sir Thomas Lawrence (British, Bristol 1769–1830 London); William Coningham (British, 1815–1884); John Heywood Hawkins(according to Sotheby's); H. Gay Hewlett; his sale, Sotheby's, London, November 28–29, 1922, lot 14; Dr. Frederic Haussman (Switzerland); Vendor: Schaeffer Galleries
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings from New York Collections I: The Italian Renaissance," November 8, 1965–January 9, 1966.

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," July 21, 1997–October 5, 1997.

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.

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.

Conrad Martin Metz Imitations of Ancient and Modern Drawings, from the Restoration of the Arts in Italy, to the Present Time. London, 1798, fig. no. pl. 72, ill.

M. Bénard Cabinet de M. Paignon-Dijonval: État détaillé et raisonné des dessins et estampes dont il est composé. vols. I & II, Paris, 1810, cat. no. 391, p. 26.

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. 32, p. 12.

Lili Fröhlich-Bum Parmigianino und der Manierismus. Vienna, 1921, fig. no. 113, p. 95, ill.

Giovanni Copertini Il Parmigianino. Parma, 1932, Vol. 2, p. 60, pl. 142a, ill.

Louise Burroughs "A Drawing by Francesco Mazzola, Il Parmigianino." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 7, New York, December 1948, pp. 101-107, ill.

Sydney J. Freedberg Parmigianino. His Works in Painting. Cambridge, 1950, fig. no. 47, p. 171, ill.

Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts Sir Thomas Lawrence as Painter and Collector. Exh. cat. Columbus, 1955, cat. no. 55.

Jacob Bean 100 European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York Graphic Society, New York, 1964, cat. no. 20, fig. no. 20, 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. 58, no. 91, ill.

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, Under no. 86, pp. 52-53.

Arthur Ewart Popham Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino. 3 vols., New Haven and London, 1971, Vol. 1, no. 297, p. 66, under no. 72; vol. 2, pl. 148, ill.

Licia Ragghianti Collobi Critica d'Arte. vol. 29, no. 121, 1972, fig. no. 15, pp. 44, 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. 152, fig. no. 152, pp. 158-59, ill.

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, p. 127, no. 81, pl. 81 (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. 24, fig. no. 24, pp. 119, 121, ill.

Françoise Viatte, Varena Forcione Leonard de Vinci. Dessins et manuscrits. Exh. cat.: Paris, Musée du Louvre, May 5 - July 14. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2003, p. 87.

Achim Gnann Parmigianino: Die Zeichnungen. 2 Vols., Petersberg, Germany, 2007, cat. no. 510, fig. no. 510, p. 430, ill.



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