This delicately rendered sheet focuses on a composition study for the Madonna in the Meadow, a painting in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna that is dated either 1505 or 1506. Along the top, the sheet also includes two fragmentary studies for related details of the composition. This is one of the artist's earliest drawings in red chalk. When the young Raphael arrived in Florence around 1503, after his first work in the regions of Umbria and the Marches which were considered provincial centers, he began to establish his reputation as an artist by painting numerous compositions of the Madonna and Child.
In Florence, Raphael came in contact with the work of Leonardo and Michelangelo, and it was probably these artists who introduced the young newcomer to the medium of red chalk. Raphael produced the Madonna in the Meadow for his friend and patron Taddeo Taddei, who was also Michelangelo's patron. Several preparatory drawings for the picture survive, among them sheets in the Albertina (Vienna), Devonshire Collection (Chatsworth), and Ashmolean Museum (Oxford). The Metropolitan Museum sheet is the last in this sequence of extant preparatory drawings. Scientific examination of the final painting in Vienna suggests that, as the last step of his creative process, Raphael also prepared a cartoon (full-scale drawing), but which has not survived.
The Metropolitan Museum drawing varies only in small details from the final painted panel, the most significant difference here being that the Madonna's left arm, free in the drawing, is covered in the painting by heavy drapery. On the verso of a sheet in the Albertina with a study for one of the predella panels for the 1507 Borghese Gallery Entombment of Christ is a pen design for a Descent from the Cross (see ref. Fischel, no. 182). Related to the Vienna sheet is a pen drawing in the Louvre (see ref. Fischel, no. 183) of a nude male figure hanging as from a cross; the figure is full length but derives clearly from the nude in our drawing .
(Carmen C. Bambach, 2006)
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Title:Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist; upper left, Study for the Right Arm of the Infant Saint John; upper right, Study for Drapery (recto); Study of a Nude Male Figure (verso)
Artist:Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)
Medium:Red chalk (recto); pen and brown ink (verso)
Dimensions:8 13/16 x 6 1/4 in. (22.4 x 15.8 cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1964
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink at lower left of recto: "15 [. .]" which has been interpreted as "1509(?)," in Bean 1982, no. 210, but this is not certain. Annotated in pen and lighter brown ink at lower right of recto: "Raf. d' U[rbin]," but probably cropped by border.
Verso is annotated in leadpoint or graphite in 1730s hand at lower left (by Lambert ten Kate Hermansz himself, or by the executor of his sale): "h. 8 3/4 / g. 6 6 1/4 / H 31." Basically, these are the dimensions in Dutch, and the collocation numbers (in a similar manner as would be adopted by the Jonathan Richardsons, Sr. and Jr.). Hence, h = hoogte (height) and g=grootte (width), as these measurements otherwise are those of the Raphael drawing in English inches. And, "H 31" is ten Kate's collocation or portfolio number, as this is exactly that listed in the sale catalogue of ten Kate's collection in June 16, 1732, portfolio H. 31. These inscriptions were entirely misunderstood in Bean 1982, p. 212, cat. no. 210 (" 58 3/4 6 6 1/4 / H 31").
The inscription in pen and brown ink on verso at lower right in 16th century hand, more or less contemporary to Raphael's time: "Carte del Pe[que]."
(Carmen C. Bambach; September 2006, revised August 2014)
Marking: The collector's mark of Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (Lugt 2034) stamped on verso, lower left (very faint).
Lambert Hermansz ten Kate Ten Kate sale, Amsterdam, June 16, 1732, portfolio H, no. 31.; Antoine Rutgers Rutgers sale, Amsterdam, December 1, 1778, no. 268.; Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (Dutch)Ploos van Amstel sale, Amsterdam, March 3, 1800, portfolio EEE, no. 3.; George Hibbert (British), London; Samuel Rogers (British)Rogers sale, London, Christie's, April 28 - May 16, 1856, no. 950.; Thomas Birchall (British); Richard Rainshaw Rothwell (British); J. W. Rothwell (British); Sotheby's, London Sale, London, March 11, 1964, no. 150.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Italian Renaissance Drawings from New York Collections," November 9, 1965–January 9, 1966.
Morgan Library & Museum, New York. "Drawings by Raphael and His Circle from British and North American Collections," January 1, 1987–December 31, 1988.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Raphael at the Metropolitan: The Colonna Altarpiece," June 20–September 4, 2006.
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt. "Raffael Zeichnungen," November 8, 2012–February 3, 2013.
Bernard Picart Impostures innocentes ou receuil d'estampes d'après divers peintres illustres, tel que Rafael, le Guide, Carlo Maratti, le Poussin, Rembrandt, etc.. Amsterdam, 1734, fig. no. pl. 5, ill.
Art Treasures Exhibition: Drawings and Sketches of Old Masters.. University of Manchester, Manchester, 1857, no. 49 (as "lent by T. Birchall").
Johann David Passavant Raphaël d'Urbin et son père Giovanni Santi. vol. 2, Paris, 1860, p. 496, no. 454.
Rudolph Weigel Die Werke der Maler in ihren Handzeichnungen: Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der in Kupfer gestochenen, lithographierten und photographierten Facsimiles von Originalzeichnungen grosser Meister. Leipzig, 1865, p. 546, no. 6497.
J. A. Crowe and G. B. Cavalcaselle Raphael, His Life and Works. vol. 1, London, 1882, p. 264.
Oskar Fischel Raphaels Zeichnungen. 8 vols., Berlin, 1941, vol. 3, p. 140, under no. 116.
Karl Theodore Parker Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: Vol. II: Italian Schools. Oxford, 1956, p. 267, under no. 518.
"Coming auctions and auctions in review." Art News. Art News, vol. 63, New York, 1964, vol. 63, p. 47-48, ill.
Jacob Bean 100 European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: New York Graphic Society, 1964, nos. 11-12, ill.
Jacob Bean "A Rediscovered Drawing by Raphael." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.s. vol. 23, no. 1, New York, Summer 1964, frontispiece (ill. recto), p. 8, cover (ill. verso), pp. 1-10, ill.
Richard Day "The Rothwell Family Raphael Drawings" Ivory Hammer 2. vol. 2, London, 1964, pp. 82,83, ill.
Roseline Bacou Le XVIe siècle européen. Peintures et dessins dans les collections publiques françaises, 1965-1966. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1965. Paris, 1965, p. 20, under no. 39v, pl. 11, ill.
Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, Vol. I: The Italian Renaissance. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1965, p. 40, no. 49, ill.
Walter Koschatzky, Alice Strobl Die Albertina in Wien. Salzburg, 1969, p. 108, ill.
J. G. van Gelder "Lambert ten Kate als Kunstverzamelaar." in Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek. vol. 21, 1970, pp. 153, 172, fig. 8, ill.
Sir Kenneth Clark Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. Exh. cat., November 14, 1970 - February 14, 1971. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, E. P. Dutton and Company, New York, 1970, p. 223, fig. 220.
Luitpold Dussler Raphael. London, 1971, p. 20.
Hugh MacAndrew Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings. Volume 3: Italian School: Supplement.. Oxford, 1980, p. 275, no. 518 (Appendix 2).
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. 212-15, no. 210.
John Gere, Nicholas Turner Drawings by Raphael from the Royal Library, the Ashmolean, The British Museum, Chatsworth and Other English Collections. Exh. cat. London, 1983, p. 74, no. 55.
Paul Joannides The Drawings of Raphael, with a Complete Catalogue. Los Angeles, 1983, p. 160, nos. 113r, 113v, ill.
Eckhart Knab, Erwin Mitch, Konrad Oberhuber Raphael: Die Zeichnungen. Stuttgart, 1983, pp. 567, 576, nos. 124, 220.
Erwin Mitsch Raphael in der Albertina. Exh. cat., Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, 1983, pp. 26, 44, ill.
John Gere Drawings by Raphael and his Circle, from British and North American Collections. Exh. cat. Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 1987, no. 8, ill.
Veronika Birke, Janine Kertész Die italienischen Zeichnungen der Albertina. Generalverzeichnis Band I: inv. 1-1200. Vienna, Cologne and Weimar, 1992, pp. 119, 145, under nos. 207, 245.
Dominique Cordellier, Roseline Bacou Raphaël, autour des dessins du Louvre. Exh. cat. Villa Medici, Academie de France à Rome. March 30 - May 24, 1992. Rome, 1992, p. 101, no. 30 (verso only repr.).
Linda Wolk-Simon "Raphael at the Metropolitan: The Colonna Altarpiece." Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006, p. 70, no. 21.
Domenico Laurenza "Art and anatomy in Renaissance Italy : Images from a Scientific Revolution." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. Vol. 69, no. 3, New York, Winter 2012, pp. 17-18, figs. 19-20.
Joachim Jacoby, Martin Sonnabend Raffael Zeichnungen. Exh. cat., Städel Museum. Frankfurt, 2012, pp. 100-103, no. 7 (both sides repr.), ill.
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