- Museum number
Design for an altarpiece with the Virgin and Child, appearing to a female donor under the protection of St Catherine, with a male monastic saint to right; on a balustrade, with landscape beyond
Black chalk, heightened with white, on grey paper, partly squared for transfer
- Production date
- 1530 (circa)
Height: 541 millimetres
Width: 414 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The drawing was described on purchase in the departmental register as 'Girolamo da Treviso' (attributed to) (or Pordenone)'. The latter attribution is the one that this large-scale study for the altarpiece had gone under from Jabach's collection until the Scarisbrick sale in 1861. The suggestion that it was Girolamo da Treviso was supported by Von Hadeln who proposed that it was a study for the altarpiece in S. Salvatore in Venice, a work prepared in Pp.2-100. Comparison with the latter drawing shows that the present one cannot be by Girolamo. The much more plausible attribution to the Cremonese artist Giulio Campi was made by Philip Pouncey and the drawing remained under this name until Giulio Bora in 1989 reattributed it to Calisto Piazza da Lodi. Bora's inclusion of the work in his pioneering reconstruction of Calisto's graphic oeuvre was questioned by Marco Tanzi who argued that Pouncey's attibution to Giulio Campi remained valid. The case for Calisto's authorship was weakened by the publication after Bora's essay of a securely attributed drawing by him, a pen and wash study of c. 1531 in a private collection for the lower half of the 'Assumption' altarpiece completed in 1533 for the Trivulzio chapel in the church of S. Biagio, Codogno (see F. Russell, 'A drawing by Callisto Piazza', "The Burlington Magazine", 133, 1991, pp. 694-695). The jagged compositional rhythm of the design and the Romanino-inspired figures of the 'Assumption' drawing differ notably from the rounded forms and Raphaelesque balance of the BM design.
Tanzi suggested that the drawing should be dated to the early 1530s and might perhaps be an early idea for the altarpiece of S. Maria delle Grazia, Soncino of 1530 now in the Brera (his fig. 17). The BM drawing shares with the Brera painting the figure of St Catherine identified by her wheel, shown seated on a cloud in the finished work, and the orientation of the Virgin and Child in the upper register towards the lower left. However these similarities are outweighed by the differences that include a kneeling female rather than a male donor at the left with Peter Martyr standing by him. Despite the absence of a finished work to which it can be related, it seems more likely that the drawing is by Giulio Campi rather than Calisto Piazza, as can be seen from the stylistic kinship with Giulio's later and slightly freer study in the BM, 'Adoration of the Shepherds' (1941,1108.14). Tanzi refuted an attribution to Francesco Carminati called Soncino made by Mario Marubbi based on its similarity to the artist's fresco in S. Francesco, Lodi.
Lit.: J.C. Robinson, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters, forming the Collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Esq', London, 1876, no. 348 (as North Italian School, first half of XVIc); D. von Hadeln, 'Venezianische Zeichnungen der Hochrenaissance', Berlin, 1925, pl. 55 (as Girolamo da Treviso); L. Coletti, 'Gerolamo da Treviso', "Critica d'Arte", 1935/6, IV, p. 180 (as Girolamo da Treviso); H. Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat, 'The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries', New York, 1944, no. 742, p. 179 (as Girolamo da Treviso); G. Bora, in exhib. cat. (G.C. Sciolla ed.), Lodi, Museo Civico, 'I Piazza da Lodi: una tradizione di pittori nel Cinquecento', 1989, pp. 247-50 (as Calisto Piazza); M. Marubbi, 'Francesco Carminati pittore manierista lodigiano', "Archivio storico lodigiano", 112.1993 (1994), p. 78, figs. 48-51 (as Carminati); M. Tanzi, 'Il crepuscolo degli eccentrici a Cremona', "Prospettiva", 134/135, 2009 (2010), p. 42, fig. 20
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1996 BM, Malcolm Drawings, apx.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The drawing corresponds to the description of no. 698 in the Jabach inventory of 1695: '22 dudit [Pordenone}, Notre Dame en l'air avec des anges, un saint, et ste catherine debout présentant une priante avec [un] paysage derrière à la pierre noire, lavé et haussé sur papier gris, long de 18 sur 22 ¾ pouces, 25 livres' (see B. Py, 'Everhard Jabach collectionneur (1618 - 1695): les dessins de l'inventaire de 1695', Paris, 2001, p. 170)
Details of the Lagoy inventory and the knowledge of his ownership of the drawing are due to Bernadette Py (email 7/2/2011).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number