Giacomo Cavedone
Sassuolo 1577-Bologna 1660
Madonna and Child with Saints Alo and Petronius

PROVENANCE: Dr Edward Peart (1756 or 1758-1824) (Frits Lugt 891).

William Esdaile (1758-1837) (Frits Lugt 2617).

Henry Vaughan (1809-1899) (Frits Lugt 1380), and his associated number No 293.

Anonymous sale, Sothebys London, 12 March 1963, lot 125 15 to Rockman.

Private collection, U.S.A.

Inscribed in pencil An Carracci 1589, black chalk, mixed media and oil on paper

431 x 295 mm. (17 x 11 5/8 in.)


The father of Giacomo Cavedone, a minor decorative painter, appealed to the local authorities for assistance and the younger Cavedone was given a three year stipend in 1591 to study painting in Bologna with Bernardino Baldi and Annibale Carracci. After Annibales departure for Rome in 1595 Cavedone stayed to became one of Ludovico Carraccis main assistants and on the formers death in 1619 he became Caposindaco of the Accademia degli Incamminati. Cavedone made a brief visit to Rome in 1609 as an assistant to Guido Reni and Cavedone also made a short visit to Venice in 1612-3, apart from these trips Cavedone did not stray far from Bologna. His career was shortened by a fall from a church scaffold in 1623, and in 1630 the death of his wife and children from the plague. He died in poverty in 1660 and religious resignation, having lost the will to paint productively after his misfortunes. His principal works are the Adoration of the Magi, the Four Doctors and the Last Supper.

As has been pointed out by Giles and Negro our composition relates to three other compositions. There are two other oil sketches, one in the Brera, Milan1 and another at Providence, The Rhode Island School of Design2. All these compositions, including ours, are dated by Giles and Negro a later in Cavedones career, circa 1618-203. The third picture our drawing relates to is the famous altarpiece of Madonna and Child with Saints Al and Petronius for the church of S. Maria della Piet dei Mendicanti, in Bologna, now in the Pinactoca Nazionale, dated to 1614. This picture was executed for the main altarpiece for the Chapel of the Campagnia dei Fabri. This is regarded as one of Cavedones more famous paintings.

Our drawing has not been on the art market in over 40 years and is a characteristic example of Cavedones oil sketch technique. A number of characteristic examples have been on the market including Christ Blessing the Little Children ex-Holkham4 and The Assumption of the Virgin was on the art market in Paris in 20065.

On the mount there is an inscription giving the provenance of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford (1717-1797), it is annotated in pencil Strawberry Hill, 1842. His sale at Strawberry Hill took place from 25 April till 24 May, and was taken by Robins in 1842. It is possible that this drawing was included in lots 1262-1266, though the drawing was in the collection of William Esdaile, and his sale occurred in 1837. These lots at the Strawberry Hill sale contained mixed lots of drawings, sometimes in excess of 100 drawings. These lots were bought by Tiffin, Robert Holford and Graves of Pall Mall.

1.E. Negro and N. Roio, op.cit., cat no. 394A.

2.E. Negro and N. Roio, op.cit., cat no. 397A.

3.L.Giles, loc.cit. Full Italian transcript: Infine c un curioso gruppo di disegni finiti della composizione, quasi identici tra loro conservati a Brera (inv. 191), al Museum of Art della Rhode Island School of Design Providence, Rhode Island (inv. 58.140) ed in una collezione privatea di New York, che sembrano tutte derivazioni autografe di Cavedone dalla pala di SantAl, forse realizzate al fine di trarre un profitto dal successo che aveva ottenuto il dipinto. In questi disegi, che non possono essere datati a prima 1618-20, lartista ha mantenuto solo la posa del San Petronio inginocchiato sulla destra, ma ha radicalmente mutato il resto della composizione, sicch la Madonna col Bambino sulle nuvole ora piantata a terra, mentre il SantAl guarda verso lo spettatore.

4.Christies London, Old Master Drawings from Holkham, 2 July 1991, lot 18.

5.Millon and Associs, 13 December 2006, lot 15.

Other Artworks By Giacomo Cavedone