Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Seated Figure of Mercury

Artist:
Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola) (Italian, Parma 1503–1540 Casalmaggiore)
Date:
1503–40
Medium:
Black chalk
Dimensions:
12 x 8 1/8in. (30.5 x 20.6cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Florence B. Selden Bequest, Charles and Jessie Price Gift, and Harry G. Sperling Fund, 1997
Accession Number:
1997.154
Not on view
The attribution of this drawing to Parmigianino was first advanced by Oberhuber (oral communication to the previous owner) and has been universally accepted. De Grazia hypothesized that it may have been made as a preparatory study for a lost painting of Mercury by Parmigianino listed in the 1561 inventory of works belonging to his patron, the Cavaliere Francesco Baiardo. Whether or not this is true, it is clear that the drawing was made in connection with a finished work, on account both of the specificity of its composition and the existence of a small earlier sketch of the same figure in the National Gallery of Art, Washington (Washington and Parma 1984, fig. 42a). The pose of Mercury, with elongated torso and sharply foreshortened legs, indicates that the painting or fresco was to be viewed from below. The style of the drawing, and its obvious partial dependence on Michelangelo's fresco of Jonah on the Sistine ceiling (see also cat. 68), indicated a date shortly after the artist's arrival in Rome in 1524. The sfumato modeling is still Correggesque, but the impact of Michelangelo and ancient Roman sculpture on Parmigianino are evident here. Perhaps most comparable among his drawings in both form and technique is the study in the Louvre of a man seated on the ground (Popham, no. 504, pl.112). (George R. Goldner in Correggio and Parmigianino: Master Draughtsmen of the Renaissance, exh. cat. New York and London 2000, p. 112, no. 69)
Inscription: Annotated in graphite, at lower left corner, "F. Boucher".
Hans M. Calmann; Lerux; Gabrielle Kopelman
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 6, 1997–January 4, 1998.

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.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints," December 9, 2014–March 16, 2015.

Diane DeGrazia Correggio and His Legacy, Sixteenth Century Emilian Drawings. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Washington, DC, 1984, cat. no. 42, pp. 154-156, ill.

Mario Di Giampaolo Parmigianino: Catalogo Completo dei Dipinti. Florence, 1991, p. 8.

William M. Griswold, Linda Wolk-Simon Sixteenth Century Italian Drawings in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 11 - March 27, 1994). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994, pp. 7, 143, no. 6, ill.

Carmen C. Bambach, Colta Ives, Carolyn Logan, Nadine Orenstein, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, a selection: 1997-1998." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 56, no. 2, New York, Autumn 1998, (entry by Carmen C. Bambach), p. 20, 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. 112, no. 69, pl. 69 (entry by George Goldner).

Carmen C. Bambach Renaissance Drawings: Material and Function Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York, October 2002.

Mary Vaccaro "Correggio and Parmigianino. Master Draftsmen of the Renaissance [Exhibition Catalogue] by Carmen C. Bambach, Hugo Chapman, Martin Clayton, George R. Goldner." Master Drawings. 2002, cat. no. 69, p. 259.

Achim Gnann Parmigianino: Die Zeichnungen. 2 Vols., Petersberg, Germany, 2007, cat. no. 619, fig. no. 619, p. 449, ill.



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