Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist

Attributed to Raffaellino del Garbo (also known as Raffaelle de' Capponi and Raffaelle de' Carli) (Italian, Florence 1466?–1524 Florence)
about 1500
Pen and light and dark brown ink, brush and brown wash, heightened with white, over black chalk underdrawing.
6 15/16 x 5 9/16 in. (17.7 x 14.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
The very finely pricked holes on the outlines of this drawing suggest that it may have served as a design for embroidery, perhaps for the cape of a chasuble (liturgical vestment) or an altar frontal. The drawing style resembles the work of the Florentine artist Raffaelino del Garbo, who, according to the sixteenth-century biographer and artist Giorgio Vasari, made designs for embroidery: “[Raffaelino] was employed by certain nuns and other persons, who were embroidering a great quantity of church vestments and hangings at the time, to make designs in chiaroscuro and ornamental borders containing saints and stories, for ridiculous prices. For although he had deteriorated, there sometimes issued from his hand most beautiful designs and fancies, as is proved by many drawings that were sold and dispersed after the death of those who used them for embroidery.”
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink at the bottom center in a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century hand: And.del Castagno.
Luigi Grassi, Florence (Lugt Suppl. 1171b); Frits Lugt, Paris; Grassi sale 1924, lot 77, ill. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1924.
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