- Museum number
A design for the decoration of the altar wall of a church, the Virgin and Child on clouds with St Leonard and St Lucy and a donor; a landscape between the saints and two putti supporting drapery above
Pen and brown ink, with watercolour and bodycolour, over red chalk, the outlines of the Child and the Virgin's head and shoulders pricked for transfer
Verso: Similar composition but with the Virgin and Child seated within an architectural framework
Pen and brown ink
Pouncey & Gere 1962
On the recto, the preliminary drawing in red chalk shows the side and back walls completed behind the canopy, with the central opening flanked by two rectangular niches, all three being the same height as the openings in the side-walls. The l.-hand upright panel in the basamento (a door?) and the donor's figure above, were added when the outlines of the architecture had been inked over. The inside of the canopy behind the Virgin and Child is green over brown, and the outside, yellow fringed with blue; the Virgin wears a blue robe over red; S. Leonard, holding the fetters in his l. hand, wears a white Benedictine habit, and S. Lucy a pink cloak over a yellow robe; the altar-frontal is red, and the oblong panels on either side of it marbled in yellow and mauve; the general tone of the background is a brownish mauve; the landscape, yellow and blue with touches of green and mauve, suggests a Titianesque sunset.
- Production date
- 1530-1547 (circa)
Height: 194 millimetres
Width: 200 millimetres (max)
- Curator's comments
- Watermark: a crown.
Lit.: P. Pouncey and J.A. Gere, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Raphael and his circle', London, 1962, I, no. 168, II, pls 136-7; E. Parma Armani, 'Perin del Vaga: l'anello mancante', Genoa, 1986, under no. B. III, p. 304; T. McGrath, 'Colour in Italian renaissance drawings', "Apollo", November 1997, p. 27, fig. 4; H. Chapman, in exhib. cat. (E. Parma ed.), Mantua, Palazzo Te, 'Perino del Vaga: tra Raffaello e Michelangelo', 2001, no. 64
Pouncey & Gere 1962
To judge from the scale of the figures, the design must be for a chapel or small church. Miss Davidson considers it an early work but we think it dates from fairly late in Perino's career: the handling, particularly of the verso study, resembles that of the drawing in the Albertina (cat. iii, no. 136) which Popham, who first noticed its connection with Perino's work in the Duomo at Pisa, dated c. 1534 ('Burlington', lxxxvi (1945), p. 89). In its massive rectangularity the architectural setting invites comparison with that found in a drawing by Perino in the Uffizi (533E; Braun 76144) for a not dissimilar altar-wall; also with the architectural background in a design by him at Chatsworth (case 39, no. 318 as Correggio; Braun 74143) for an altar-piece and frame identifiable with some certainty as that painted for S. Francesco di Castelletto in Genoa.
Literature: B. Davidson, Art Bulletin, xli (1959), pp. 322 f.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1962/3 Nov-Sep, BM, Raphael and his Circle (P+G)
2001 Mar-June, Palazzo Te, Mantua, 'Perino del Vaga: between Raphael and Michelangelo'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Thibaudeau acted as an agent for the British Museum at the Russell sale in December 1884, see 1885,0509.1574-1607. Some of the other drawings Thibaudeau purchased at the same sale were subsequently sold to the British Museum in 1885; see 1885,0509.33-51 and 1885,0711.271-303.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number