Bolognese School
The Virgin and Child appearing in a Vision to a Bishop or Abbot

PROVENANCE: John Skippe, his mount and pencil attribution Mattia Preti, by descent to Edward Holland Martin; Christies, 21 November 1958, lot 167b (as Mattia Preti); Professor Raymond E. Pahl, FBA (1935-2011).

Red chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, within an inscribed border in pen and ink

140 x 90 mm. (5 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.)

An attribution to one of the Gandolfi has been suggested by a scholar. Our drawing is on the characteristic Skippe mount, and there were 4 drawings fully attributed to Mattia Preti in the famous 1958 Skippe auction at Christies.

Regarding the subject matter of our drawing it has been kindly pointed out by Berthold Kress that the habit looks like a cope, not a heavy vestment. There is a crozier, but no mitre, and this could indicate an abbot, though not all abbots have croziers, but not all have mitres. Additionally the Christ Child appears to be holding a scourge.1

1.Written communication 6 June 2012