The Reclining Headless Body of Holofernes; Study of Female Semi-Nude Figure (on a small separate, unrelated sheet of blue paper, pasted onto the lower left of the large sheet).
Guido Reni (Italian, Bologna 1575–1642 Bologna) (the study of Holofernes only)
Black chalk on brownish paper that may have been originally blue (Holofernes); black chalk on blue paper (female figure)
15 x 10 1/4 in. (38.1 x 26 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1962
Not on view
This large sheet contains a study, probably drawn from life, for the left arm and shoulder of the headless body of Holofernes in a painted canvas portraying Judith and Holofernes executed by Reni in the mid-1620's. The Metropolitan Museum owns three reproductive engravings after this composition (nos. 51.501.4564; 51.501.4574; and 51.501.5060), and moreover, an exquisite study for the head of the Old Testament heroine (no.1992.70), which was formerly from the collection of the Earls of Leicester at Holkham Hall. The delicately drawn study of a half-draped female figure at lower left, also by Guido Reni, is a separate sketch that has been pasted by a collector, most likely Sebastiano Resta (see Warwick 2000) onto the larger sheet containing the drawing of Holofernes's body. The style and technique seem more typical of Reni's drawings of about a decade later, around 1635-40 (see especially Uffizi 12452 F, Florence), and the design generally relates, in mirror image, to the poses of Andromeda in the versions of the painted composition of 1635-36 in the Galleria Pallavicini, Rome, and that formerly with Colnaghi's, London (see Bibliography and Pepper 1988). (Carmen C. Bambach, June 4, 2004, revised 2014)
Inscription: Small drawing by Guido Reni on blue paper pasted onto his larger sheet is annotated in pen and brown ink at lower left (probably in the hand of Padre Sebastiano Resta): "12." Guido Reni's large sheet is annotated in pen and brown ink at lower right of the recto, certainly in the hand of Padre Sebastiano Resta: "donatomi dal Sig. Paolo / Albertonio scol.º del SS. Zignani" [i.e.: Paolo Albertoni, scolaro, Carlo Cignani]. As Paolo Albertoni was a pupil of Carlo Maratti, it is possible that Maratti was the source for Albertoni's ownership of the drawing but this is speculative. Old mount annotated by an English collector, at lower border of the recto (from left to right): "Born at Bologna. 1575" "Guido Reni." "died 1642." Old mount annotated by a French collector, at the top of the verso, in pen and blue ink: "Dessin italien XVIe S.8"
(Carmen C. Bambach, June 4, 2004).
Possibly owned by Carlo Maratti (Italian, Camerano 1625–1713 Rome)(see mention of Albertoni in note by Sebastiano Resta); Paolo Albertoni (Italian, Rome, documented 1670–1695)(as listed in the annotation by Sebastiano Resta); Padre Sebastiano Resta (Italian, Milan 1635–1714 Rome)(the annotation is written by his hand); Sold by Yvonne Ffrench (British, born 1901), London
Morgan Library & Museum, New York. "Drawings from New York Collections, II. The Seventeenth Century in Italy," February 23, 1967–April 22, 1967.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. "Bolognese Drawings in North American Collections, 1500-1800," September 11, 1981–November 8, 1981.
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. "Emilian Drawings and Prints in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1500-1700," March 26, 1987–May 24, 1987.
Yvonne Ffrench Exhibition of old master drawings and early English drawings at the Alpine Club Gallery. Exh. cat. Alpine Club Gallery, London, May 22-June 2, 1962, cat. no. 12.
Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. II: The Seventeenth Century in Italy. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 1967, cat. no. 21.
Walter Vitzthum "Review: Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. 2: The Seventeenth Century in Italy (Exh. cat., New York, MMA and PML, by Jacob Bean and Felice Stampfle, 1967)." Burlington Magazine. vol. 109, London, April 1967, p. 253.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 17th century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, p. 240, no. 317, ill.
Artist: Guido Reni (Italian, Bologna 1575–1642 Bologna)Date: 1575–1642Medium: Pen and brown ink (recto); pen and brown ink; female figure at lower left in black chalk (verso)Accession: 1988.32On view in:Not on view