- Museum number
Street scene by moonlight; a figure entering a doorway at left and a woman at a window above
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over black chalk
Verso: Studies of kneeling and seated women
- Production date
Height: 257 millimetres
Width: 208 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: J.C. Robinson, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters, forming the Collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Esq.', London, 1876, no. 137 (as Ascribed to Andrea Boscoli); J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 322
Gere & Pouncey 1983
The difficulty of placing this unusual drawing is shown by the number and variety of the attributions proposed for it. Denon believed it to be by Giorgione; so also, probably, did Lawrence, in the MS inventory of whose collection "an effect of moonlight, Giorgione" is listed under case 7, drawer 1; it appears in the Lawrence-Woodburn Sale under the name of Claude Lorrain; and was catalogued by Robinson as "ascribed to Andrea Boscoli", an attribution followed by Colvin in the 1895 'Guide'. In recent years it has been placed, provisionally, with Federico Zuccaro, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and Raffaellino da Reggio. The dramatic lighting can be paralleled in such drawings by Federico as the one of his brother drawing by moonlight, of which versions (or copies) are in the Uffizi (11015F; Gernsheim 7576) and the Ashmolean Museum (P.II. 749; 'OMD', x (1935-6), pl. 22), and it seems reasonable for the time being to catalogue 1895,0915.574 as the work of someone in the Zuccaro circle, active in Rome in the second half of the sixteenth century. The figure-studies on the verso, especially the larger one of a kneeling woman (the Virgin Annunciate ?) are also Zuccaresque in proportion and morphology, and tend to support this explanation of the drawing.
Literature: JCR 137; Denon, Monuments, pl. 123a (lithograph in reverse, Weigel 2823); BM Guide, 1895, no. 207.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number