Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Putto Bending a Bow

attributed to Giorgione (Italian, Castelfranco Veneto 1477/78–1510 Venice)
Red chalk. Original sheet, 15.7 x 6.6 cm.; this has been made up (almost certainly by Pierre-Jean Mariette) to a sheet 23.7 x 15.2 cm. on which a base and a surrounding niche for the putto have been indicated in pen and brown ink, red chalk and brush with red wash.
6-3/16 x 2-5/8 in. (15.7 x 6.6 cm) original sheet 9-5/16 x 6 in. (23.7 x 15.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1911
Accession Number:
Not on view
The steep perspective in which the putto is seen establishes that the figure must have been intended for placement high on a painted palace façade, and Pierre-Jean Mariette's addition of a base and surrounding niche for the figure would seem to indicate that he thought the putto could have served just such a purpose. Jaynie Anderson related the Museum's drawing to the extant fresco fragment showing a Hesperid Cupid from Giorgione's original decoration in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (Saltwood Castle, Saltwood Heritage Foundation, Kent; see References: Anderson 1996, p. 312, fig. 173). Erica Tietze-Conrat was apparently the first to call attention to Vasari's mention of a similar figure on the façade of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, "un angelo a guisa di Cupido" ("an angel depicted as Cupid": Vasari 1550 and 1568, vol. 4, p. 96).

The plausible attribution of the drawing to Giorgione goes back at least to the time of Mariette. On several occasions in the past Terisio Pignatti has ascribed this sheet to the young Titian, but he seems to have abandoned this notion, since our drawing is not mentioned in his 1979 book on Titian as a draughtsman. The Mariette catalogue entry for this drawing reads: « GIORGION, (Francefco Sanefe, dit le) Venit. / 445 Un Amour ployant fon arc, & deux aurres / Sujets, à la fanguine, où fe voit une femme edormie, &c ». A sketch of our drawing by Saint Aubin is found in the border of the Mariette collection sale catalogue in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1994, William M. Griswold and Linda Wolk-Simon published this drawing with an attribution to Michelangelo Anselmi (Siena or Lucca 1492 – 1556 Parma), adducing stylistic comparisons that do not seem sufficiently convincing to this compiler to remove the drawing from Giorgione's oeuvre (for an immediate comparison see Anselmi’s cartoon fragment with ‘Putti playing with hoops’ now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc. no. 2013.117: repr. in Bambach, ‘Il Primato del Disegno’, 2015, pp. 24-25, fig. 9). A copy after this drawing does exist that is much more likely to be by Anselmi; it was formerly owned by Alan Stone (New York), is presently the property of Yvonne Tan Bunzl (London), although it was inexplicably published as "Giorgione" by W. R. Rearick in 2001 as in private collection, Vienna.
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink at lower right of what remains of the Mariette mount, 1476-1512.

Marking: Al lower right, stamp of Pierre-Jean Mariette (Lugt 1852). At lower left, blind stamp of Count Moriz von Fries (Lugt 2903).
Pierre Jean Mariette (French, Paris 1694–1774 Paris); Mariette sale (Paris, 1775–1776)(part of lot no. 445); Count Moriz von Fries (Austrian, Vienna, 1777–1826); Lord Ronald Charles Sutherland Leveson Gower (British, London 1845–1916 Kent (?)); his sale, Christie's, London(Jan. 28, 1911, part of no. 17); Robert Langton Douglas (British, London 1864–1951)for the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Morgan Library & Museum. "Pierre-Jean Mariette and The Art of Collecting Drawings," January 22, 2016–May 1, 2016.

Exhibition of Venetian Art, The New Gallery, Regent Street, 1894–95. New Gallery, London, London, 1894, p. 60, no. 342 (as Giorgione, lent by Lord Ronald Gower).

Erica Tietze-Conrat "Decorative Paintings of the Venetian Renaissance Reconstructed from Drawings." Art Quarterly. vol. 3, no. 1, Art Quarterly, 1940, p. 32, fig. 14.

Walter Mehring European Drawings from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Portfolio of Collotype Reproductions [Vol. 1: Italian Drawings; Vol. 2: Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings; Vol. 3: "New Series": Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings]. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3 vols., New York, 1942–44, Vol. 1, no. 18, also N.S., no. 7 (as "Giorgione (?)").

Hans Tietze, Erica Tietze-Conrat The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries. New York, 1944 (reprinted 1970, 1979), no. 712, fig. 48 (as Giorgione).

Terisio Pignatti Giorgione. Milan, 1955, p. 132 (as Titian?).

Terisio Pignatti Giorgione Profili e saggi di arte veneta. 8, Venice, 1969, p. 127, no. A36, fig. 188 (as Titian), ill.

Terisio Pignatti Girgione, Complete Edition. London, 1971, p. 130, no. A36, fig. 188 (as Titian).

Harold E. Wethey The Paintings of Titian, III, The Mythological and Historical Paintings. London, 1975, fig. no. 7, p. 6, ill.

David Alan Brown Berenson and the Connoisseurship of Italian Painting. Exh. cat. Washington, D. C., 1979, pp. 32, 57 n.84, p. 65, n. 69, repr.

Denys Sutton "Robert Langton Douglas, Part III, Agent for the Metropolitan Museum." Apollo. ., London, June 1979, p. 423, fig. 28.

Bert W. Meijer "Titian sketches on Canvas and Panel." Master Drawings. vol. 19, New York, 1981, p. 287, note 5 (as Emilian artist).

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, pp. 106-107, no. 98 (as Giorgione?).

James Byam Shaw "Review of Jacob Bean with the assistance of Lawrence Turcic, 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolital Museum of Art." Master Drawings. vol. 21, no.4, 1983, p. 412 (n. 5).

Harold E. Wethey Titian and His Drawings with Reference to Giorgione and Some Close Contemporaries. Princeton, 1987, pp. 21,169, no. 55, fig. 144 (as Giorgione), ill.

William M. Griswold, Linda Wolk-Simon Sixteenth Century Italian Drawings in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 11 - March 27, 1994). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994, pp. 5-6, 141, no. 4 (entry by William Griswold with the attribution as Michelangelo Anselmi).

Jaynie Anderson Giorgione: The Painter of "Poetic Brevity". Paris and New York, 1996, pp. 278, 311-13, fig. 172.

William R. Rearick Il disegno veneziano del Cinquecento. Milan, 2001, pp. 11-14, fig. 2 (as Giorgione).

Giovanna Nepi Sciré, Sandra Rossi Giorgione. "Le meraviglie dell'arte" Exh. cat., Gallerie dell'Accademia (November 1, 2003 - February 22, 2004). Venice, 2003, pp. 160-61 (as "Giorgione (?)', text by Sandra Rossi), ill.

Enrico Maria dal Pozzolo "Il primo Peterzano." Venezia Cinquecento. vol. 22, no. 4, Venice, 2012, pp. 168-69, fig. 47 (as "cerchia di Giorgione"), ill.

Kristel Smentek Mariette and the Science of the Connoisseur in Eighteenth-Century Europe. London, 2014, pp. 165-66, 249, pl. 13.

Related Objects


Artist: Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome) Date: 1508–10 Medium: Pen and brown ink over black chalk, partially incised with a stylus (recto); rubbed with black chalk for transfer (verso) Accession: 1997.153 On view in:Not on view

The Head of the Virgin in Three-Quarter View Facing Right

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, Vinci 1452–1519 Amboise) Date: 1510–1513 Medium: Black chalk, charcoal, and red chalk, with some traces of white chalk (?); some remains of framing outline in pen and brown ink at upper right (not by Leonardo) Accession: 51.90 On view in:Not on view

Three Standing Figures (recto); Seated Woman and a Male Hermit in Half-length (verso)

Artist: Stefano da Verona (Stefano di Giovanni) (Italian, Verona (?) 1374/75–?ca. 1438 Castel Bragher) Date: 1435–38 Medium: Pen and brown ink, over traces of charcoal or black chalk (recto); pen and brown ink, brush with touches of brown wash, over traces of charcoal or black chalk (verso) Accession: 1996.364a, b On view in:Not on view

Design for an Altar Surmounted by a Crucifix in Four Different Views

Artist: Vincenzo de' Rossi (Italian, Fiesole 1525–1587 Florence) Date: 1546–47 Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and gray-brown wash over traces of black chalk, ruling and compass work Accession: 2013.205 On view in:Gallery 690

Scene from the Last Judgment, Study for the Fresco Decoration of One of the Segments of the Cupola of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

Artist: Federico Zuccaro (Zuccari) (Italian, Sant'Angelo in Vado 1540/42–1609 Ancona) Date: 1576–79 Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over red chalk on ecru paper. The paper is cut to the shape of a segment of an octagonal cupola Accession: 61.53 On view in:Gallery 690