Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Holy Family with Angels

Artist:
Pomarancio (Cristoforo Roncalli) (Italian, Pomarance ca. 1553–1626 Rome)
Date:
1603–5
Medium:
Black chalk highlighted with white chalk on blue paper
Dimensions:
14 1/8 x 10 5/8 in. (35.9 x 27 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Pfeiffer Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
62.120.4
Not on view
This powerful drawing with the Virgin Mary, St Joseph and the Christ Child accompanied by angels was first published in 1952 by Philip Pouncey, who recognized it as a study for Roncalli's painting of ‘The Holy Family’ now in the Galleria Borghese, Rome (Inv. 330). The painting and the related drawing are datable to ca. 1603-1605. Drawn in black chalk, this sheet represents a bold example of Roncalli’s draftsmanship at the dawn of the seventeenth century, inspired by the monumentality of Michelangelo and Giuseppe Cesari, Cavaliere d’Arpino. The indented lines on the recto of the sheet and the extensive rubbing with black chalk dust on the verso of the paper are both signs of the ‘calco’ technique – a practice adopted to copy or transfer the design onto a secondary support to produce model drawings of identical scale. In 1964 Jacob Bean found a second study in Florence (GDSU, inv. 15428 F; 38.7 x 27.3 cm) for the same painting. In contrast to the Museum’s drawing, the Florentine composition is worked out in black, red, and white chalk on blue paper ( repr. in ‘Disegni dei toscani a Roma, 1580-1620', Florence, 1979, no. 27). The composition of the two preparatory drawings also differs in a number of details, and both, in turn, differ slightly from the painting in Rome. (F.R.)
Inscription: Inscribed in lead graphite on verso: Parmigiano.
Vendor: Hugh N. Squire (London)through Colnaghi
Morgan Library & Museum, New York. "Drawings from New York Collections, II. The Seventeenth Century in Italy," February 23, 1967–April 22, 1967.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 16, 1983–April 17, 1983.

Philip Pouncey "Two drawings by Cristofano Roncalli." in The Burlington Magazine. vol. 94, December 1952, p. 356, fig. 70.

Paola Della Pergola Galleria Borghese, i dipinti. vol. 2, Rome, 1959, p. 46, under no. 64, repr.

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, no. 3, repr., ill.

William Chandler Kirwin Cristofano Roncalli (1551/2-1626), an Exponent of the Proto-Baroque: His Activity through 1605. PhD diss., Stanford University, Stanford, California (University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan), 1972 p. 447, under no. 29.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, pp. 224-25, no. 222.



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