Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Virgin and Child with Saint Martina

Artist:
Pietro da Cortona (Pietro Berrettini) (Italian, Cortona 1596–1669 Rome)
Date:
1596–1669
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over black chalk.
Dimensions:
9 5/8 x 12 3/8in. (24.5 x 31.5cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Benjamin Sonnenberg, 1978
Accession Number:
1979.3
Not on view
This drawing, made in pen and ink by the leading artist of the Roman Baroque Pietro da Cortona, was preparatory for a painting featuring The Virgin with Christ Child and Saint Martina now in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth (inv. AP 1984.07, oil on canvas, 70 x 58 cm). In this composition, Saint Martina, a third-century martyr who was put to death for refusing to worship idols, gazes at the Christ Child while holding the forked iron hook with which she was tortured, and accepting the palm of martyrdom. The painting and the related drawing are generally dated to1643-45 ca. Cortona was particularly devoted to the cult of the Roman martyr Saint Martina, whose remains were found in 1634 during excavations undertaken for the artist's own tomb in the crypt of the church of the Accademia di San Luca, Rome. The discovery of the relics led to the rebuilding of the entire church, under Cortona's direction as architect, which was then dedicated to Saints Luke and Martina. Jörg Martin Merz (see here bibliography) dates this sheet to 1643 due to its similarities in handling and draftsmanship with a second preparatory drawing in the Morgan Library (inv. 1985.81). Cortona produced several variations on this subject for an engraving dedicated to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, for which the Morgan drawing may be a preparatory drawing. In the engraving the composition is shown in reverse. (F.R.)
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink at lower right, n... and P. de Corto... (rest of annotations cut off).
Benjamin Sonnenberg (American (born Russia), Brest-Litovsk ca.1901–1978 New York)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 5, 1998–March 8, 1998.

Princeton University Art Museum. "A Painting in Context: Pietro da Cortona's Saint Martina Refuses to Adore the Idols," October 14, 2006–January 21, 2007.

Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. II: The Seventeenth Century in Italy. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 1967, cat. no. 65, ill.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 17th century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, cat. no. 142, fig. no. 142, p. 288, ill.

Patricia Cummings Loud, William B. Jordan In Pursuit of Quality: the Kimbell Art Museum : an illustrated history of the art and architecture . Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 1987, p. 206.

Jörg Martin Merz "Santa Martina Refuses to Adore the Idols: Pietro da Cortona's Painting at Princeton in Context." Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University. vol. 62, Princeton, NJ, 2003, See note 56, p. 102., fig. no. 7, pp. 92-94,102, ill.



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