Study for an Angel (recto); Study of a Cushion (verso)

Annibale Carracci Italian

Not on view

A young model, probably a studio assistant, posed for Annibale Carracci in this study of an angel-- the wings are only lightly indicated above his shoulders, almost as an afterthought. The angel's figure appears on the right in Annibale's altarpiece Saint Gregory Praying for the Souls in Purgatory, commissioned by Cardinal Antonio Maria Salviati about 1600-1602. The altarpiece, painted for a chapel in the church of San Gregorio Magno, Rome, was destroyed during World War II when it was in the collection at Bridgewater House, London. There are only minor changes in the configuration of the angel's draperies in the final painting. Figural studies done with chalk by the artist dating after 1600 are rare: two composition studies for the same altarpiece are preserved at Chatsworth and at Windsor Castle. while a third drawing with studies of the standing angel's head and left arm is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Dijon (se here "references" and McTavish 1975).

Study for an Angel (recto); Study of a Cushion (verso), Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome), Charcoal or soft black chalk, highlighted with white chalk, on blue paper; several scattered stains of rose-colored paint at lower left (recto); black chalk with some white chalk highlights (verso)

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