A Sibyl Holding a Scroll (Study for the Cimmerian Sibyl)
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) (Italian, Cento 1591–1666 Bologna)
Pen and dark brown ink
sheet: 7 13/16 x 5 7/8 in. (19.8 x 15 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1912
Not on view
Like other Sibyls of the ancient world, the Cimmerian Sibyl - whose real name was Carmentis - was venerated as the great prophetic priestess presiding over the Apollonian Oracle at Cimmerium in Italy, near Lake Avernus. Guercino's vibrant drawing, executed with a dense network lines in pen and ink, is associated with a painting of the Cimmerian Sibyl, which is extant in at least two versions (Reggio Emilia, Credito Emiliano [now Credem] and Galerie Canesso, Paris in 2002; see "A Rediscovered Sibyl by Guercino," by Veronique Damian). The drawing is considered an original preparatory study for the Reggio Emilia version of the Cimmerian Sibyl, which has been dated to 1638, the year of the commission, for which payment was received on January 2, 1639, and which is recorded in the "Libro dei Conti" of Guercino's studio (located Bologna, Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio, MS.B.331., also published in full in Calvi, Notizie della vita, e delle opere del Cavaliere Giovan Francesco Barbieri detto il Guercino da Cento, Bologna, 1808, and in Malvasia, Felsina Pittrice, 1841, II, pp. 307- 44).
Inscription: The verso, a secondary paper, is annotated in graphite: "40".
Marking: Stamp of Thomas Hudson, British, Devonshire 1701–1779 London, at lower left (Lugt 2432). Stamp of Edward Bouverie, British, Delapré Abbey (1767–1858), at lower right (Lugt 325). No Watermark visible: sheet glued on to a secondary paper.
Thomas Hudson (British, Devonshire 1701–1779 Twickenham); Honorable Edward Bouverie (British, 1767–1858); Jean Paul Richter (German, Dresden 1847–1937 Lugano, Switzerland)
Museo Civico Archeologico, Bologna. "Giovanni Francesco Barbieri il Guercino 1591-1666. Disegni," September 6, 1991–November 10, 1991.
Bryson Burroughs "Drawings." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 7, no. 5, New York, May 1912, p. 100.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 17th century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, cat. no. 244, fig. no. 244, p. 187, ill.
Luigi Salerno I Dipinti del Guercino. Rome, 1988, cat. no. under no. 178, p. 263.
William M. Griswold "Guercino." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.s. vol. 48, no. 4, New York, Spring 1991, fig. no. 32, pp. 36-37, ill.
Diane De Grazia Selected Baroque Paintings from Italian Banks. Exh. cat., Washington, D.C. 26 September - 11 November, 1990 and Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, 19 Cecember - 27 January, 1991. 1990-1991. 1991, fig. no. p. 54, pp. 52-54, ill.
Sir Denis Mahon Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino. 1591-1666. Disegni. Exh. cat., Museo Civico Archeologico, Bologna (September 6 - November 10, 1991). Bologna, 1992, pp. 171-72., no. 108.
Per Bjurström, Catherine Loisel, Elizabeth Pilliod Drawings in Swedish Public Collections: Italian Drawings. Florence, Siena, Modena, Bologna. vol. 8, Stockholm, 2002, cat. no. under no. 1560, n.p.
Veronique Damian A Rediscovered Sibyl by Guercino. Galerie Canesso, Paris, Paris, 2002, fig. no. 2, pp. 10, 15, ill.
Artist: After Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) (Italian, Cento 1591–1666 Bologna)Date: 17th centuryMedium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk, on cream paperAccession: 80.3.453On view in:Not on view