- Museum number
Minerva (?); whole-length female warrior standing to front, looking down to right, holding onto a post with her right hand
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
Height: 115 millimetres
Width: 56 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: Lili Fröhlich-Bume, 'Schiavone I', "Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien", XXXI, 1913/14, pp. 155 and 172 (as Schiavone); H. Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat, 'The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries', New York, 1944, no. A 1435, p. 252 (not by Schiavone and without registration number); A.E. Popham, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Parma in the Sixteenth Century', London, 1967, I, no. 241, II, pl. 154 (as Anonymous)
In the departmental register as "Mahholino" (presumably for Mazzolino, the name incorrectly given to Parmigianino by Lomazzo). In Louis Fagan's MS. catalogue as Mazzola.
Mrs. Fröhlich-Bum's attribution of this drawing to Schiavone was based partly on the similarity in handling which she saw between it and a drawing in the Albertina (S.V. 70a: repr. Fröhlich-Bum, op. cit., fig. 24) with an old inscription that could be read as 'Shavona', and partly on its resemblance to Schiavone's etching of 'Bellona' (B. xvi, p. 68, 77). But even if the Albertina drawing is by Schiavone - and this seems far from certain - it is too slight and indeterminate to serve as a convincing starting-point for further attributions ; and though there is some general resemblance between 1854,0628.109 and the etching, the latter is no more than a clumsy repetition of a figure that exists in several versions.
Three of these are elaborately finished drawings, identical in detail. They show the figure standing in a niche.
1. Venice, Accademia 501 (as Parmigianino). Photo. Braun 78205 (as Tibaldi). Apparently the version engraved by Rosaspina as Parmigianino when in the collection of Count Giovanni Zambeccari (B.M. W. 2-50).
2. Louvre 6407 (as Parmigianino). In the 1964 Exh. Cat., under no. 100, my opinion is quoted that the drawing is by Bedoli. I no longer think this is so.
3. New York, collection of Mrs. Richard Krautheimer ('Italian Master Drawings from the Collection of Mrs. Richard Krautheimer', catalogue of exhibition at Duke University, March-April 1966, no. 4, repr. on cover).
These three drawings are of much the same quality. Obvious copies, either from one of them or from their presumed common original, are at Christ Church, Oxford (0418 ; Bell, no. M. 22 as Parmigianino), and in the Ambrosiana (photograph in Witt Library). The figure also occurs as a free-standing statue in the background of a portrait attributed to Bronzino, which was sold at auction in New York on 22 January 1931, lot 65 (photograph in Witt Library).
The inclusion of 1854,0628.109 in the present volume can be justified, not so much by the old attribution of it and of most of these versions to Parmigianino, as by the existence of two drawings of the same figure that are certainly from his hand. From their style, both are datable towards the end of his life.
4. Venice, Accademia 502 (as Parmigianino). Photo. Braun 78204 (as Tibaldi).
5. Louvre 6493 (as Parmigianino). Photo. Gernsheim 6899.
The question remains whether Parmigianino was the originator of the figure. Though these two drawings differ from the other versions in certain details, notably in the angle of the shield, which is held upright so that it is contained within the niche, it seems to me significant that in both drawings the figure stands in the same round-topped niche and that the chiaroscuro is substantially the same. After much hesitation, I am inclined to think that all the drawings enumerated, including those by Parmigianino, as well as the etching by Schiavone and, very much more remotely, 1854,0628.109 derived from a common original. Philip Pouncey has suggested that this may have been the work of a Veronese artist.
To judge from the number of repetitions of this figure, the original was in some easily accessible position. It is copied, in a form exactly corresponding with the first three drawings here listed, on a sheet of the Heemskerck sketchbooks in Berlin (ed. Huelsen and Egger, ii, pl. 22). Immediately to the r. on the same sheet is a nude warrior armed with a mace pursuing another figure only part of which is indicated. Another copy of these two figures, traditionally attributed to Parmigianino, is at Bayonne (1253 ; Bean, no. 91). They are clearly part of the same composition as the figure in the niche, and the general style and arrangement are suggestive of a façade decoration. As is well known, many of the drawings in the second of Heemskerck's two "Römische Skizzenbücher" are by a later hand, and a number of these reproduce works of art and buildings in Mantua.
Literature: L. Fröhlich-Bum, Vienna Jahrbuch, xxxi (1913/14), pp. 155 and 172.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- 1854,0628.81 to 117 were purchased from Tiffin and the register records that they were all drawings that he had bought on his own account at the Woodburn sale. The Bill Book gives prices and agrees that all of them came from the Woodburn sale. Neither source gives the lot numbers. These have been added to the records when they are obvious. The small dimensions of the drawings 1854,0628.89 to 110 and their shared English provenance of Lely and/or Richardson would suggest that they come from a common source, perhaps lot 1550 in the Woodburn sale 23 June 1854 ('A scrap-book, containing a numerous collection of small Italian studies' bought bt Tiffin £3-15-0).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number