Two Nudes Seen from Below (recto); Male Figure with Upraised Arm (verso)
Pomarancio (Cristoforo Roncalli) (Italian, Pomarance ca. 1553–1626 Rome)
Red chalk (recto and verso), squared in red chalk (recto)
11 9/16 × 8 3/8 in. (29.4 × 21.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1962
Not on view
In 1981 Lawrence Turčić recognized the figures on the recto of this sheet as studies by Roncalli for two of the personifications of winds that appear in a ceiling fresco surrounding the circular field of an anemoscope in the Sala della Meridiana, Torre dei Venti of the Vatican Palace. The figures are preparatory studies for southerly winds, Auser Africus and Notabilicus, two of the personifications surrounding the circular field in the center of the ceiling which names the various winds and indicates the direction of their origin. The Torre dei Venti (Tower of the Winds), Gregory XIII's astronomical and meteorological observatory at the Vatican, was constructed between 1578 and 1580. The frescoed decoration of the rooms of the Tower, executed from 1580 to ca. 1582, was a collaborative artistic venture between Niccolò Circignani, the brothers Matthijs and Paul Bril and Matteino da Siena. The Metropolitan drawing and the related figures in the Sala della Meridiana substantiate Baglione's hitherto unverified statement that Roncalli worked in the Vatican Palace under the supervision of Circignani on decorations for Pope Gregory XIII (Baglione 1642, pp. 288-89). There are a number of differences between fresco and drawing, the most obvious being the angle of the standing figure's head and the substitution of a deflated cloud for the skull in his right hand. John Gere (Nov. 1962) pointed out that the mount of this drawing is that of the English collector, William Young Ottley (1771-1836). (F.R.)
Inscription: The lower right corner of the recto is inscribed in pen and brown ink: 'Cav Christof o Roncalli d o C. Pomeran...'
Marking: The mark of Sir Thomas Lawrence is stamped blind at the center of lower border (Lugt 2445).
William Young Ottley (British, Thatcham, Berkshire 1771–1836 London)(on Ottley mount); Thomas Philipe (British, 1740–1816), Ottley sale, London, June 6–23, 1814, no. 1139; Sir Thomas Lawrence (British, Bristol 1769–1830 London); Nathan Chaikin (New York and Venthône, 1907–1987)
Lawrence Turčić "Cristofano Roncalli in the Sala della Meridiana." The Burlington Magazine. vol. 123, 1981, pp. 614-17, fig. 41 (recto).
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. 222-23, no. 221, repr.
John Gere, Philip Pouncey Italian Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings in The British Museum. Vol. 5: Artists Working in Rome, c. 1550 to c. 1640. with the ass. of Rosalind Wood, London, 1983, p. 153.
Artist: Attributed to Pomarancio (Cristoforo Roncalli) (Italian, Pomarance ca. 1553–1626 Rome)Date: 1553–1626Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over black chalk. Squared in black chalk for transfer (recto). Another design for the coat of arms in red and black chalk, pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, on versoAccession: 1975.131.20On view in:Not on view
Artist: Attributed to Pomarancio (Cristoforo Roncalli) (Italian, Pomarance ca. 1553–1626 Rome)Date: 1553–1626Medium: Red and some black chalk. Squared in red chalkAccession: 90.20.2On view in:Not on view