Black chalk and grey wash, within a pencil border, inscribed Fabiola
325 x 426 mm. (12 x 16 in.)
This is a very characteristic drawing by Minardi and can be compared to many others, though one clear comparison is to one in The Wellcome Library [photograph Witt Library], of Saint Agatha with her Breasts on a charger.
Minardi was born in Faenza and he went to Rome in 1803 where he studied at the Accademia di S. Luca, and in the studio of Camuccini, who with Benvenuti, represented Davids small following in Rome. Minardi was one of the most accurate draughtsman of his day. During the second decade of the century, when he was painting principally religious pictures, the influence of Caravaggesque chiaroscuro was gradually superseded by a light and crystalline type of painting, close in certain respects, to that of the Nazarenes. From 1818-21 he was Professor of the Accademia di S. Luca in Rome, where he had a decisive influence on the development of local official religious art.
The inscription on the drawing may well refer to a scene from a play.