Pen and dark brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, over soft black chalk or leadpoint
12 3/16 x 8 1/4 in. (31 x 21 cm)
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 2001
Not on view
Daniele Crespi, who lived to be barely thirty-three years old and who nevertheless is counted among the leading Italian Baroque painters, hailed from the region of Lombardy. He was active mainly in Milan. His artistic vocabulary seems dazzling for its energy of figural pose, expressive gesture, and dramatic light. This virtuoso drawing relates to a very well known project of the artist's mature career, and the treatment of the subject matter is highly expressive.
This drawing was preparatory for the 'Resurrection of Raymond Diocrés', a scene frescoed around 1628-29 by Daniele Crespi on the west nave of the Carthusian Monastery - or Certosa - in Garegnano, near Milan. The composition, randered in a dramatic chiaroscuro, portrays the blessed Diocrés rising from the bier before a crowd of onlookers who gesticulate wildly with astonishment. The figure of the deceased man on the bier is placed along a diagonal in the pictorial space, and the funeral scene unfolds within the interior of a church. The bier is inscribed by the artist in pen and the same brown ink as in the drawing with notes on the materials, "brocato nero / che sia di carta atacato al tapeto." Following these instructions, the blessed Diocrés was clothed with a black brocade drapery in the fresco.
In preparing the complex and crowded scene in Garegnano, which also happened to be the last commission before his death, Crespi prepared several other drawings: a brief sketch for the sole figure of Raymond Diocrés (Civico Gabinetto dei Disegni, Milan, inv. A 1983), and two larger compositional sketches in Milan (Biblioteca Ambrosiana, inv. Cod. F 271, inf. n. 103) and in a private collection in Paris. Considering its difference from the final fresco, the Met drawing must be considered an early, tentative compositional study for the whole scene, which was later corrected on the sheets now in Milan and Paris. The collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art lists an additional drawing done by Crespi for the Certosa in Garegnano (inv. 1978.133), a recently acquired repertory study of hands which was used by Crespi for the same decorative cycle (2015.15a,b), and two sketches for his earlier commission in the Certosa of Pavia (inv. nos. 80.3.217 and 1981.400).
(Furio Rinaldi, 2015)
Inscription: The bier is inscribed by the artist in pen and the same ink as in the drawing, with notes on the materials, "brocato nero / che sia di carta ataca-/ to al tappeto." Annotated by another hand in pen and brown ink on the lower left corner "312," and on the lower right in minuscole letters, "Daniele." The upper right is annotated faintly in red chalk, and there the number "30" can partly be deciphered. (transcriptions by Carmen C. Bambach, 2001)
Private collection, France(Lyon); Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
Giulio Bora "Nuovi disegni di Daniele Crespi" Il Seicento lombardo. Giornata di Studi. Ed. by Mina Gregori, Marco Rosci, and Nancy Ward Neilson, Milan, 1996, pp. 25, 29, fig. 62 (as Lyon, private collection).
Artist: Daniele Crespi (Italian, Busto Arsizio 1597/1600–1630 Milan)Date: ca. 1628–30Medium: Red and white chalk on blue paper (recto); red chalk on blue paper (verso)Accession: 2015.15a, bOn view in:Not on view