This study is dazzling for the energy of its drawing, economy of means, and monumentality of expression. It was preparatory for a triton that appears at the extreme left of a large oblong fresco Thetis Carried to the Bridal Chamber of Peleus (The Triumph of Galatea) on the ceiling of the gallery of the Palazzo Farnese, Rome, a project begun in 1597. Annibale invented most of the robust figures in the gigantic Farnese Gallery fresco cycle - nearly ninety of his drawings for it are extant -- exploring their poses from live nude models in numerous large-scale studies executed with the technique seen here. Many of the cartoons (full-scale drawings) and a few scenes of the finished frescoes, including Thetis Carried to the Bridal Chamber, however, were the work of his elder brother, Agostino. In this vigorous drawing by Annibale, the repeated, undulating contours of the Triton seem an expression of his aqueous nature. This drawing is a study for one of the figures decorating the vault of a gallery in Rome's Palazzo Farnese, Annibale's most important and influential fresco cycle. Although the fresco in which this figure appears was executed by Annibale's brother Agostino, Annibale clearly intervened in its design. Famed for reviving the art of painting at the beginning of the seventeenth century, Annibale was guided by the example of Raphael, whose work he studied assiduously. Certainly the Tritons of Raphael's Galatea, shown at left in an engraving by Marcantonio, were in his mind when he created this figure study.
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Medium:Charcoal or soft black chalk on blue-gray paper; traces of framing outlines in pen and black ink and black chalk
Dimensions:Sheet: 15 1/4 x 9 9/16 in. (38.8 x 24.3 cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1970
Inscription: The recto is annotated by an early hand, at bottom right, in pen and brown ink: "Annibal". The recto is annotated, at bottom right, in pen and brown ink with pagination of one of the Angeloni-Mignard-Crozart albums of Carracci drawings: "III". The verso is annotated by an early hand, at top left, in pen and brown ink: "OIII" or "CIII".
Francesco Angeloni (Italian); Pierre Mignard (French)- Rome and Paris; Pierre Crozat (French)- Paris; Victor Winthrop Newman (American); American Art Association- May 8, 1923, no. 103; Dr. A. P. McMahon (American); Mrs. A. P. McMahonin New York in 1970
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings Recently Acquired, 1969–1971," January 18–April 16, 1972.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints by the Carracci," April 24–July 1, 1973.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions 1965–1975," December 6, 1975–March 23, 1976.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Roman Artists of the 17th Century: Drawings and Prints (Athens and New York)," November 2, 1976–January 16, 1977.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. "Bolognese Drawings in North American Collections, 1500-1800," September 11, 1981–November 8, 1981.
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome. "L'idea del Bello. Viaggio per Roma nel Seicento con Giovan Pietro Bellori," March 29, 2000–June 26, 2000.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 5–January 28, 2002.
Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino. "I Carracci nella Galleria Farnese. Dai disegni agli affreschi," June 20, 2007–September 15, 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," July 13–October 4, 2009.
W. Gernsheim, J. Lauke Carracci Punkte eines Programms: Veröffentlichung des Corpus Photographicum. Florence, 1956, p. 16.
Jacob Bean "A Rediscovered Annibale Carracci Drawing from the Farnese Gallery." Master Drawings. vol. 8, no. 4, October, 1970, pp. 390-91, fig. 28.
Jacob Bean "One Hundredth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1969-1970, Reports of the Departments: Drawings." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.s. vol. 29, no. 2, New York, October 1970, pp. 70-71, fig. 71.
Michael Levey National Gallery Catalogues. The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Schools. London, 1971, p. 60.
Donald Posner Annibale Carracci: A Study in the Reform of Italian Painting Around 1590. vol. 1, 5. Phaidon, London, 1971, vol. 2, p. 49.
Jacob Bean Drawings Recently Acquired, 1969-1971. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 18 - April 16). New York, 1972, p. 2, no. 5.
Jacob Bean Drawings and Prints by the Carracci. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (April 24-July 1, 1973). New York, 1973, no. 18, repr.
Jacob Bean "Drawings." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965-1975. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975, p. 60 (entry by Jacob Bean).
Jacob Bean Patterns of Collecting: Selected Acquisitions, 1965-1975. Explanatory texts accompanying an exhibition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975, p. 60 (entry by Jacob Bean).
Jacob Bean (but catalogue not signed), The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roman Artists of the 17th Century: Drawings and Prints. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1976, n.p.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 17th century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, pp. 72-73, no. 102.
Charles Dempsey "Annibal Carrache au Palais Farnèse" Le École française de Rome, 1980-1981. vol. 1, 1st edition,. Rome, 1980-1981, p. 293 and note 81.
Mimi Cazort, Catherine Johnston Bolognese Drawings in North American Collections 1500-1800. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa, 1982, no. 31, ill.
David McTavish "Review of Exhibition of Bolognese Drawings at the National Gallery, Ottawa," Canadian Art Review. vol. 10, no. 1, 1983, p. 81 (as possibly by Agostino Carracci).
Diane DeGrazia "L'altro Carracci della Galleria Farnese: Agostino come inventore." Les Carrache et les décors profanes, acts of conference Rome, October 2-4, 1986. Rome, 1988, p. 109.
George R. Goldner with help from Lee Hendrix and Gloria Williams The J. Paul Getty Museum. European Drawings: Catalogue of the Collections. J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, 1988, pp. 37, 39, no. 9.
Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò "Santacroce, Angeloni, Marino et Bellori." Le dessin: Les grands collectionneurs. Turin, 1992, pp. 41-44, fig. 36.
Evelina Borea et. al L'idea del Bello. Viaggio per Roma nel Seicento con Giovan Pietro Bellori. Exh. cat., Palazzo delle Esposizioni (March 29-June 26, 2000). Rome, 2000, p. 244, no. IV.15 (entry by Catherine Loisel).
Catherine Loisel Ludovico, Agostino, Annibale Carracci. Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques, Inventaire géneral des dessins italiens, Paris, 2004, p.69, note 228, fig. 100.
Albert Boesten-Stengel "Interventi reciproci o rivalità nel progettare? La diversa partecipazione di Annibale e di Agostino Carracci alla Galleria Farnese secondo i disegni" Nuova luce su Annibale Carracci. Ed. by Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, De Luca Editore, Rome, 2011, pp. 90-91, fig. 3 (as attributed to Agostino Carracci).
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