- Museum number
Caricature of Giuseppe Maria Biccieri (or Bicceri) standing in profile, looking left, wearing clergyman's clothes and holding a musical score; 1753
Pen and brown ink over black chalk
- Production date
- 1753 (12 February)
Height: 324 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 223 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1859,0806.91 for comment and description of album.
The sitter is the singer Giuseppe Maria Biccieri (or Bicceri). In the inscription Ghezzi states that he normally wears the robe of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri and that he sings as bass in churches like Santa Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa Nuova), Sant'Apollinare, the Gesù and in many other churches in Rome. He signs in the usual way (fatto da me Cavalier Ghezzi) and adds that he is 78 years old.
In the second part of the inscription Ghezzi recounts that Biccieri entered the Institute of San Michele a Ripa when he was a child and there he learnt about music; once adult he left to join the Paulists, but he could not cope; he left and started to wear the robe of the Congregation of Saint Philip Neri so that he could cover his crooked legs. Ghezzi continues stating that Bicceri always hides his legs under long robes and that he, Ghezzi, on the day of the Candelora met Father Tarugi, a member of the Congregation, who asked the artist to make his caricature. This was delivered 8 days after, and Father Tarugi had an etching made out of it and represents him holding a candle. Ghezzi states that the etching did not carry his name or the etcher's [this etching has not been identified]. The artist continues that in the present drawing he put a sheet of music score in the sitter's hands as he was a singer. Ghezzi describes him with a hunch both in the front and the back and all crooked in appearance, as those marked by the Lord. But Ghezzi thinks that perhaps the robe will make him perfect, and states: who knows, it might just suffice.
As pointed out by Rostirolla (2001, p. 420), an earlier half length caricature of Biccieri is also found in the British Museum (see 1871,0812.824).
Lit.: G. Rostirolla, 'Il "Mondo novo" musicale di Pier Leone Ghezzi', Milan 2001, no. 319, pp. 236 and 420.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number