- Museum number
Caricature of the Secretary of the Congregation of the Index facing to the right: drawing in an album.
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
- 1749 (?)
Height: 102 millimetres
Width: 73 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1859,0806.91 for comment and description of album.
The inscription states that the sitter is the Secretary of the Index, a dominican, during the papacy of Benedict XIV.
The post of Secretary of the Congregation of the Index (which compiled the list of prohibited texts) was always held by a Dominican. Despite the fact the drawing is not dated, it is likely to have been made in 1749 like most of the others in this album and, possibly, during the summer months. 1749 saw the transition from one secretary, Giuseppe Agostino Orsi (1692-1761) nominated in 1738, to his successor Tommaso Agostino Ricchini (1695-1779?) who was also a member of the Accademia dell'Arcadia, alias Gesalte Scandejo.
According to Moroni's 'Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica', Orsi was nominated Magister Sacri Palatii Apostolici, that is Theologian of the Pontifical Household, in 1749, so presumably he left the post of Secretary of the Index then.
A portrait of his successor Ricchini, sold at Bonhams as Circle of Trevisani, shows similar distinguished features to the present caricature (13 April 2014, lot 204) and this is possibly who the sitter should be identified with.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number