- Museum number
The Holy Family; the Virgin Mary seated with the Christ child on her lap, Joseph seated at left kisses the hand of the infant
Pen and brown and black ink, heightened with white (partly oxidised); on pink prepared paper
Verso: Standing Virgin and Child; almost whole-length to front, the head truncated
Pen and black ink, heightened with white; on pink prepared paper
- Production date
Height: 219 millimetres
Width: 205 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Summary from J.Rowlands, 'Drawings by German Artists and Artists from German-speaking regions of Europe in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum: the Fifteenth Century, and the Sixteenth Century by Artists born before 1530', London, BM Press, 1993, no. 24:
'The sheet was first recognised as the work of Bernhard Strigel by Parker, who interpreted the “91” on the recto and the “90” on the verso to indicate respectively 1491 and 1490. These are the earliest dates to be found on any known drawing attributed to Strigel. The characteristics and vitality of the drawing on the recto are consistent with other drawings attributed to Strigel's early period, such as the ‘Two lovers’ in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (acc. no. 1,250), which also displays similar facial types. The two preparatory studies for Strigel's paintings on the high altar of the Klosterkirche at Blaubeuren, near Ulm (dated 1493 and 1494), are more elaborately executed than this sheet (Paris, Louvre, Cabinet des Dessins, inv. no. 19.182; Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Kdz. 2407; Otto, ‘Strigel’, pls. 158-9) but one encounters in them figures with the same, somewhat squat proportions as those in the ‘Holy Family’. Strigel later copied the composition of the ‘Holy Family’ in his painting, ‘The child Servatius with Eliud and Memelia’ ( formerly Bode Museum, inv. no. 606D; Otto, ‘Strigel’, pl. 96), which is a panel from an altarpiece representing the Holy Kindred (two further panels are in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC) that has been dated in the period 1520-8. The drawing of the ‘Virgin and Child’ on the verso lacks any strong individuality but given the association with the ‘Holy Family’ on the recto may reasonably be regarded as an early study by Strigel. A comparable Virgin and Child is seen in Strigel's devotional diptych for Hans Funk (Munich, Alte Pinakothek, WAF 1067, 11461; Otto, Strigel, pl. 10), which belongs stylistically to the 1490s.'
Additional information: The attribution of this sheet to Wolfgang Katzheimer (by whom no signed drawings are known ) by Suckale, needs to be addressed. The closest comparison Suckale makes to another drawing (the Virgin and Child in the Frick collection, New York) is also generally considered to be by Strigel (see R.Suckale,'Die Erneuerung der Malkunst vor Dürer', Petersberg, 2009, vol. 1, pp.312-3).
Lit from Rowlands: Waagen, Treasures Suppl. p. 35; K.T. Parker, Belvedere, viii, 1925, pp. 34ff, pls. 8, ii; S. Freedberg, Fogg Bulletin, viii, 1938, p. 21, fig. 3; Otto, Strigel, pp. 50, 107, no. 88, pls. 156, 164; Rettich, Strigel, pp. 216ff; E. Rettich, Studien f. K. Bauch, pp. 101f., fig. i; Denison and Mules, Pierpont Morgan Drawings, p. 37, under no. 10; BM Dürer and Holbein, pp. 34-35, no. 14, repr.
Additional lit: Iris Brahms, ' Zwischen Licht und Schatten: zur Tradition der Farbgrundzeichnung bis Albrecht Dürer', Paderborn, 2016, p. 130, repr.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1990 April-Aug, BM, Treasures of P&D (no cat.)
1988, July-Oct, BM, Age of Dürer & Holbein, no. 14
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- 1854,0628.22-25 from same Woodburn sale lot
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number