The Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and the Infant John the Baptist
Polidoro da Caravaggio (Italian, Caravaggio ca. 1499–ca. 1543 Messina)
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown and grayish brown wash over black chalk with white heightening, traces of squaring in pen and brown ink (especially evident at lower right and lower left).
sheet: 6 15/16 x 9 in. (17.7 x 22.8 cm)
Joseph F. McCrindle Collection, Bequest of Joseph F. McCrindle, 2008
Not on view
This delicate composition is full of luminous and atmospheric effects achieved through a masterful use of washes. It depicts the Holy Family with Saint Anne (she is less likely Saint Elizabeth) and the infant Saint John the Baptist seated in a landscape-a "Rest on the Flight into Egypt" with some artistic license. As the drawing exhibits faint traces of squaring, it seems clear that it served as a preparatory modello (demonstration drawing) for a painting or another type of two-dimensional work. The outlines of the figures are confidently sketched, the application of the washes is free and airy, and the landscape is drawn with a suggestive economy of line. The study was probably produced between 1520 and 1525, during the artist's late Roman period. The figural style here still reflects the vocabulary of the late works of Raphael (1483-1520), with whom Polidoro studied, but the monumentality of form and expressiveness of line are fully his own. Born at Caravaggio in Lombardy in northwest Italy, Polidoro was one of the most original artists of his generation working in Rome, Naples, and Sicily. (Carmen C. Bambach, 2009)
Marking: Collector's stamps of Pierre-Jean Mariette (Lugt 1852), Jan Pieter van Suchtelen (Lugt 2332), and unidentified collector's stamp with interlaced "CR" (close to Lugt 632)
Pierre Crozat (French, Toulouse 1665–1740 Paris); Jean Denis Lempereur (French, Paris 1701–1779 Paris); Pierre Jean Mariette (French, Paris 1694–1774 Paris); Count Jan Pieter van Suchtelen (or Souktelen) (Russian, St. Petersburg 1751–1836 St. Petersburg); Eugène Rodrigues (Paris 1853–?1928); Jacques-Auguste Boussac (French)J. Boussac (his sale, Paris, September 10, 1926); Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Fuller Feder, New York; Joseph F. McCrindle (American, New York 1923 - 2008 New York); Donor: Joseph F. McCrindle
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 13, 2009–July 12, 2009.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 4, 2011–June 12, 2011.
Edmund P. Pillsbury, John Caldwell Sixteenth Century Italian Drawings: Form and Function. Exh. cat., May 7 - June 30. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 1974, cat. no. no. 6.
John Gere Drawings by Raphael and his Circle, from British and North American Collections. Exh. cat. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 1987, cat. no. 85.
Frederick den Broeder Old Master Drawings from the Collection of Joseph F. McCrindle. Exh. cat. Princeton University Art Museum, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois; The Frick Art Museum, Pittsburgh; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; Duke University Museum of Art, Durham, North Carolina. 1991, cat. no. no. 3, pp. 24-25.