- Museum number
Melchizedek blessing Abraham; Melchizedek at left with the eucharistic bread and wine, a boy supporting the tray from beneath, with a group of figures at right, and a lion and elephant fighting beyond
Pen and brown ink and brown wash, on buff paper
- Production date
Height: 296 millimetres
Width: 465 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Connected with Franco's etching (B XVI, p.120, S).
Lit: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 125
Gere & Pouncey 1983
According to the MS catalogue of 'Drawings presented and purchased', compiled c. 1856-7, the following inscription was on the back of the old mount, since removed: "Abraham giving Tythes to Melchisedec King of Salem, i.e. King of Peace ...v. Gen: 14: 18.19.20 with Heb 7: 1 to ye 5. & to the End of the Chapter ... This is an Undoubted Original Drawing of Battista Franco, very Capital, his wash'd drawing[s] are very scarce: the Etching that accompanies it is also of Battista Franco's own hand ... Mr Richardson esteemed it one of his most Capital Drawings. H.L". The spelling and phraseology of the first part of this inscription are characteristic of the elder Richardson.
Richardson's inscription implies that he had recognised the connection between 1847,0306.1 and Franco's etching B. xvi, p. 120, 5. The drawing is in reverse to the etching and differs from it in some particulars: in the etching the position of Abraham's sword has been changed so that it is still worn on the correct (l.-hand) side; the lion immediately behind the two prisoners to r. of centre is omitted; there are two distinct trees in the background, each with foliage, one on either side of the group of Melchizedek and the two men behind him; some of the figures differ in small details, especially in the hair. The individual figures are on the same scale in both, but the drawing as a whole is larger, some elements of the etched composition having been pushed closer together.
The elephant and the lioness in the background of the drawing occur in the same relative position, in the reverse direction and accompanied by two more elephants, in Franco's etching B. xvi, p. 143, 74, and the lion immediately behind the two prisoners, in reverse and accompanied by eight other animals, in his etching B. xvi, p. 144, 76.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Inscribed on mount (now detached) with unidentified collector's mark (English): "HL".
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number