his Assumption of the Virgin (1526-1530, Duomo of Parma) a major example for painters of the 17th century, even in Naples. 1 Ippolita Di Majo, «Tra Francesco Curia e Battistello Caracciolo. Disegni della collezione Tessin a Stoccolma», Prospettiva, no 9596, 1999, p. 182-194.
Naples 1578 – 1635
Soldier with Armour, Sketch of a Face and a Torso Pen and brown ink over black graphite, white highlights on beige paper 142 x 253 mm (5 5/8 x 9 7/8 in.)
PROVENANCE Unidentified collector (L. 2863) Austria, private collection
BIBLIOGRAPHY Julien Stock in Civiltà dei seicento a Napoli, Naples, Electa, 1984, vol. II, p. 69, no 3.10, ill. Maria Causa Picone, “Giunte a Battistello: appunti per una storia critica di Battistello disegnatore”, Paragone, no 519-521, May-Jully 1993, p. 42-43 Stefano Causa, Battistello Caracciolo. L’opera completa, Na ples, Electa, 2000, p. 183, A33 Chris Fisher and Joachim Meyer, Neapolitan Drawings, Italian Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhague, Statens Museum for Kunst, 2006, p. 54 Rossana Muzii, “Il culto del disegni presso i pittori napoletani del Seicento e del Settecento con la guida di Bernardo De Dominici”, in Le Dessin napolitain, international symposium papers, Paris, École normale supérieure, 6-8 March 2008, Rome, De Luca Editori d’Arte, 2010, p. 18, ill. p. VIII. Ritorno al baroco. Da Caravaggio a Vanvitelli, Naples, musée de Capodimonte, 12 December 2009-11 April 2010, p. 56, no 3.8 This sheet, which has often been cited and published was attributed to Battistello Caracciolo by Julien Stock, then linked to the Liberation of St. Peter, by Maria Causa Picone in 19931 at the same time as a certain number of other drawings.2 Completed in 1615 for the first chapel on the left of the church of Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples, the work, a solemn poetic nocturne, is close to the famous main altarpiece of the Seven Acts of Mercy painted in 1606 by Caravaggio. The three other drawings connected to this painting are executed in black chalk with highlights in white chalk, but on different types of paper: the one in the Louvre is on blue paper, the sheet in Copenhagen is on brown prepared paper. Despite the variety of poses studied, none of these sketches has been used precisely for the painting. The soldier of this sheet nevertheless recalls the figure sleeping on the left of the painting, in reverse but with the same abandon. It has already been noticed by several authors that if Caracciolo decided to place a young half naked man in the painting’s foreground, it is undoubtedly to echo the one who occupies the left foreground in the work of
Caravaggio, whose arrival in Naples had a profound impact. The elegance of the pose of this drawing seems nevertheless strongly inspired by that of the sleeping soldier in the Liberation of St. Peter by Raphael in the Stanza di Eliodoro, which allows us to understand that Caracciolo, in the painting, combines his own culture and his meditation on classical examples with Caravaggio’s contributions. The artist has several graphic styles. Especially in his early copies, he often uses pen and brown ink, defining the volume of objects with short tight crossed hatching lines rather like Bandinelli and Passarotti, but in a less disciplined, more extravagant manner. Rossana Muzii explains the use of these networks of hatching by his practice of engraving towards the end of the 1610s.3 This is the manner used here, for the back of the fleshy and muscular sculpted bust, which perfectly recalls his earlier drawings after sculptures. As for the white highlights which illuminate the young soldier, they explain his desire to work with effects of light as a fundamental element of composition, one of the principle contributions of caravaggism, rendered in the drawing. 1 Although Stefano Causa has questioned the link between the drawing and the painting to compare the drawing to a Resurrection by Cecco del Caravaggio (Chicago), the comparison with Caracciolo’s graphic works such as Seated Suzanne (private collection), reveals an undisputable similarity of technique and manner. 2 Louvre, inv. 17 838 ; Windsor, inv. 5691 ; Copenhague, Statens Museum for Kunst, GB 449. 3 Ritorno al barocco, da Caravaggio a Vanvitelli, Naples, Electa, 2010, vol. II, p. 54.
Arcadia circa 1558 – Naples 1646
The Virgin, Surrounded by Seven Angels Holding Branches, Appearing to Seven Men Inscribed bottom centre Belisario Pen and black ink, brown and blue wash with white highlight on beige paper 382 x 225 mm (15 x 8 7/8 in.)
PROVENANCE Albert-Léon-Victor Finot, Troyes (L. 3627), his sale, 6 December 1982, lot 14. Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd, London Katrin Bellinger, London
108 NEAPOLITAN DRAWINGS
Published on Mar 11, 2014