Red chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, traces of red chalk framing lines
198 x 147 mm. (7 1/8 x 6 in.)
An unidentified French 18th Century collectors coloured mount.
The attribution to Mariano Patrizi was first suggested by Stella Rudolph1, and has been accepted by Dieter Graf2. Numerous attributions have been suggested for our three drawings, all clearly by the same hand, and which are in turn part of a homogeneous group of ten other drawings that are known in seven other locations. The attributions have been to Giuseppe Passeri (1654-1714), Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610-1662), Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (1654-1727), Giacinto Gimignani (1606-1681), Francesco Fernandi, called Imperiali (1679-1740); Salvi Castelucci (1608-1672); Giovanni Battista Lenardi (1656-1704) and Giuseppe Ghezzi (1634-1721). It seems clear that this group is coming from the circle of Giuseppe Passeri, and the attribution to Patrizi, whilst not definitive, seems to be the most plausible. However only one signed drawing by Patrizi is known. This was in the concorso of 1706, where Patrizi is given the title of accedemico donore3. It is likely that the Patrizi brothers, Mariano and Francesco Felice were taught by Giuseppe Passeri. There was a close connection between the Patrizi family and Passeri, the latter painted frescoes on the Patrizi family palace near San Luigi dei Francesi, and those at their country house at Castel Giuliano.
The first two drawings, and closely connected with ours, are currently on the art market4, and also represent scenes from Guarinis Il Pastor Fido. They are larger in scale however they are in the same medium and technique.
A third drawing of Diana and Actaeon, is in the collection of the Museum Comanderie van Sint Jan in Nijmegen5, and is drawn in a very similar technique to ours. The fourth drawing is The Death of Meleager was on the New York art market in 19876. The fifth drawing, A Scene from Roman History, recently sold at auction in London7. The sixth and seventh drawings, both unattributed, are in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, one depicting Christ Succoured by Angels and the other Saint Francis de Sales8. The eighth and ninth drawings are from the story of Tobias, and are in the collection of the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt9. The tenth drawing, of Christ Preaching to the Apostles appeared on the art market in London in 199110. The eleventh drawing is in Palermo and is in a similar technique to our drawing as well as the others11.
The subject of our drawing, identified by Dr Paul Taylor and Dr Rembrandt Duits, is taken from Giovanni Battista Guarinis (Ferrara 1537-1612) Il Pastor Fido. The game of Blind Mans Buff depicts the kissing competition organized by the nymph Amaryllis. The Pastor Fido, first published in 1590, is a pastoral drama. The scene is set in Arcadia, where Guarini supposes it to have been the custom to sacrifice a maiden yearly to Diana. But an oracle has declared that when two scions of a divine lineage are united in marriage, and a faithful shepherd has atoned for the ancient error of a faithless woman, this inhuman rite shall cease. The plot turns upon the unexpected fulfilment of this prophecy. This drama held a prominent position in this history of literature from 16th Century until the Revolution. It seems most likely that our drawings were for one of these publications, this is reinforced by their size which suggest a book format.
1.In telephone conversation 28 March 2006.
2.Written communication, 6 April 2006.
3.Exhibition catalogue, Accademia Nazionale di S. Luca, Rome, December 1989-January 1990, and elsewhere, Prize winning drawings from the Roman Academy, 1682-1754, number 29, page 70, entry by Dieter Graf.
4.Jean-Luc Baroni, An exhibition of Master Drawings and Oil sketches, New York, 2006, numbers 20 & 21. These drawings are much larger than ours, and measure 282 x 429 mm and 275 x 424 mm. Stephen Ongpin for provided me with the information on these two as well as the others mentioned in this entry. Dr. Ursula Fischer Pace, does not accept an attribution to Romanelli for the Baroni drawings, however she has pointed out that they are almost certainly later in date, noting in them the particularly Marattesque figure types and Neoclassical technique. She further suggests that the artist may perhaps be found in the circle of the Roman painter Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari, or possibly Francesco Fernandi, called Imperiali [written correspondence, 18 October 1994].
5.Dsseldorf, C.G. Boerner, Neue Lagerliste Nr.24: Graphik und Handzeichnungen, lterer und neuerer Meister, 1959, no.427 (as Giovanni Francesco Romanelli). The drawing, formerly in the Heydeck and Platky collections, measures 265 x 400 mm. The attribution of the Nijmegen drawing to Romanelli was rejected by Dr. Bernhard Kerber in June 1979.
6.Anonymous sale, New York, Sothebys, 14 January 1987, lot 87 (as Roman School, 17th Century). This drawing, of vertical format, measures 252 x 212 mm.
7.Anonymous sale, London, Sothebys, 6 July 1992, lot 138 (as Giuseppe Passeri), measuring 210 x 241 mm.
8.Inv. 80.3.336 and 80.3.505, respectively.
9.Inv. AE 1772 and AE 1773 (as Romanelli). Both drawings were tentatively attributed to Giacinto Gimignani by Philip Pouncey in 1973.
10.Anonymous sale, London, Sothebys, 1 July 1991, lot 179 (as Roman School, 17th Century), measuring 258 x 397 mm, with an attribution to Lennardi suggested by David Lachenmann.
11.Photo in Gernsheim corpus, photograph identified by Hugo Chapman.