- Museum number
Design for an altarpiece: the Virgin and Christ Child enthroned between St Jerome and an episcopal saint, within a decorative arch
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash
- Production date
Height: 287 millimetres
Width: 207 millimetres (top corners cut)
- Curator's comments
The attribution to Boccaccino is almost certainly not right and is rejected by Marco Tanzi in his recent book on the artist. Boccaccino's drawings are rare and it is therefore difficult to build up a sense of his graphic output, however the BM study does not resemble the two drawings with the most secure claim to be autograph: the Munich 'St Jerome' related to the painting in the Pinacoteca, Cremona and the ex-Liechtenstein study for the 1506 fresco in the apse Cremona cathedral of 'Christ in Glory' now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (K.T. Parker, 'Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum', II, Oxford, 1956, no. 5, pl. II). Both drawings are illustrated by G. Bora, in exhib. cat., Cremona, 'I Campi e la cultura artistica cremonese del Cinquecento', 1985, nos. 2.2.1 and 2, p. 270. Marco Tanzi suggests that the artist responsible for the drawing might come from Romagna as the structure of the altarpiece and the figure types reminded him of Filippo da Verona (email in drawing's dossier)
Lit: A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 22, II, pl. XX; M. Tanzi, 'Boccaccio Boccaccino', Soncino, 1991, p. 111 (rejecting attribution).
This drawing was issued as a coloured facsimile by the British Museum in 'Reproductions of Drawings by Old Masters in the British Museum', Part II, Published by the Trustees, in 1891 where it was number XIV and described there as 'Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano, Sketch for an Altar-Piece: Virgin and Child with Saints.'
Popham & Pouncey 1950
In the Woodburn Sale Catalogue attributed to Raffaellino del Garbo. In style and ornament the altar-piece evidently comes very close to Boccaccino. Two drawings connected with authenticated pictures by him have survived: a study (wash with white heightening) in the Liechtenstein Gallery (Schönbrunner-Meder, vi, 654) for the figure of Christ in the apse of Cremona Cathedral and a study at Munich, in the same medium, for the picture of 'S. Jerome' in the Gallery at Cremona (published by Gräff, loc. cit.). The absence of the pen from these two drawings makes comparison difficult, but the present sketch might well be by the same hand. Strikingly similar to it in handling are sketches executed in red chalk on both sides of a sheet in the Uffizi (1765F) bearing a convincing attribution to Boccaccino (photo. Gernsheim 2909, 2910). These sketches correspond with the drawing under discussion not merely in the curve and accentuation of contours but also in the proportions of faces and hands (note the long tapering fingers characteristic of the artist).
Literature: B.M. Reproductions, ii (1891), xiv.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1985 Apr-Jul, Cremona, Comune de Cremona, 'Campi'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Ottley provenance not certain, based on description in 1807 catalogue.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number