- Museum number
Caricature, head of a man, in profile to left, with an up-turned nose, laughing, after Carlo Maratti, within an oval.
- Production date
Height: 240 millimetres
Width: 191 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Turner 1999
The drawing from which 1874,0808.119 was copied appears to have been the one formerly in the Mond collection (Borenius and Wittkower, 1937, no. 148, pl. xx), which was subsequently in a private collection, Rome (Turner, 1982(b), pp. 152-3 and fig. 15), and was recently on the London art market (sale, Christie's, 6 December 1988, lot 27) (see also Ff,3.206). It must also be the same drawing that, in the eighteenth century, was etched, in reverse, by Arthur Pond (c. 1705-58), with the inscription "In the collection of Tho. Sadler Esq.r" (Hake, 1922, p. 348, no. 89); an impression of Pond's print is preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings amongst the series of prints after drawings by Maratti [in reverse, see 2006,U.1131].
This drawing and the following five copies are traditionally attributed to the Irish painter Hugh Howard (1675-1738) and belong to a series of drawings by him in the British Museum, including several copies after other Old Master drawings. The six copies after caricatures by Maratti are drawn on leaves of varying sizes and have some slight sketches and the remains of red-chalk off-sets on the verso, which points to their having come from a sketchbook or album. The paper in 1874,0808.123 is water-marked with three hills surmounted by a dove, all within a circle, which is topped by an R. This is an Italian mark and suggests that Hugh Howard could have made them in Italy, which he visited in 1697-1700 in the suite of Lord Pembroke.
Exact counterparts by Maratti for all six drawings do not appear in the volume of caricature drawings in the Academia de San Fernando, Madrid (for which see Ff,3.206). Three of Howard's copies correspond however with drawings which, just before the middle of the eighteenth century, were in two English collections. One of them, Ff,3.206, of which 1874,0808.121 is a copy, was formerly in the collections of Richard Houlditch senior and junior, as was probably the second, now lost, the appearance of which is recorded in another print by Pond, which lacks an inscription giving its then owner, but which was presumably also Houlditch's (see 1874,0808.123). The third prototype, the ex-Christie's drawing referred to above, was in the collection of Thomas Sadler. Several of Howard's copies after other Old Master drawings, for example one after a drawing by Guercino now at Chatsworth, Derby., of the 'Madonna of the Rosary', also in the British Museum (inv.no. 1874,0808.109; London, 1991(a), App. no. 109), must have been done after his return to England, from drawings that were already in this country.
Nevertheless, the six caricatures that Howard copied may originally have come from the Academia de San Fernando volume, since, judging by the stuck-down fragments of corners that appear on some of its pages, many drawings are missing (though the volume also contained what are loosely described in the title on the spine as "Schizi", and these could have been the drawings that were removed). Howard, who was himself a collector of great distinction (see London, 1991(a), p. 284), may have had occasion to copy the caricatures during his visit to Italy, when Maratti was still alive. In this connection a quotation from Lord Egmont's Diaries for 23 February 1732, from the Whitley papers (cited by Croft-Murray), is relevant. Howard's Italian journey had resulted from his desire to be a painter: "For which purpose he travelled to Italy and studied under Carlo Marat, who was peculiarly fond of him and not only directed what piece he should copy but corrected his works and finished them sometimes with his own pencil". As has been discussed elsewhere (see 1992,0620.36 and 1902,0822.11), Maratti's studio was an important stop on the itinerary of wealthy foreign, especially English, visitors to Rome.
Literature: Binyon, 1898-1907, II, p. 364, no. 17 (as after Pier Leone Ghezzi); Juynboll, 1934, pp. 157ff. (as after Maratti); Croft-Murray MS, begun c. 1960, no. 17; Mena, 1975, I, p. 289.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number