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A composition with eight figures including a woman holding up a child, columns behind, after Parmigianino
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
Height: 296 millimetres
Width: 200 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Copy after a red chalk drawing by Parmigianino at Besançon (1612).
See Popham, 'Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino', Cambridge, 1971, p.275 (20).
Attributed in the Spencer, Esdaile and Woodburn Sale Catalogues to Schiavone, and by Mrs. Fröhlich-Bum to Parmigianino. This is a copy, apparently of the sixteenth century, of a red chalk drawing by Parmigianino at Besançon (1612; photo. Gernsheim 8376) with which it corresponds exactly except for the difference in medium. The handling of the pen differs from that of Parmigianino himself, as can be seen on comparison with the authentic drawing for a composition of the 'Descent of the Holy Spirit' (Ff,1.90).
The Besançon drawing is early in style and must date from before Parmigianino's departure for Rome in 1524. Its subject is obscure : the impression which the action of the woman at first sight suggests is that of intended violence to the infant, but it may convey nothing more than maternal exuberance, in which case the central figures might be the Virgin and Child and the subject some kind of 'Sacra Conversazione'. Another early drawing by Parmigianino, in the Louvre (6482; photo. Gernsheim 6987), shows the Virgin holding the Infant Christ aloft in much the same way, before depositing Him on the shoulders of St. Joseph.
Literature: Fröhlich-Bum, p. 23; Emilian Drawings, no. 23.
- Not on display
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (L.1532; T Philipe, 15.vi.1811/717 as Andrea Schiavone 'An elegant design of eight figures - ditto (ie. like previous lot 'stile of Parmeggiano'] - free pen' bt Thane, £1-18-0)
Previous owner/ex-collection: William Esdaile (L.2617; Jones, 2.iii.1819/93, bt with another, Ottley, 16s.)
Previous owner/ex-collection: William Young Ottley
Previous owner/ex-collection: Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Samuel Woodburn (Christie's, 7.vi.1860/part of lot 835 as Schiavone 'The Holy Family, and other figures; and a female holding up a child - pen', 2 in the lot, bt Money £0-5-0)
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- Prints and Drawings
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