- Museum number
Taddeo Zuccaro as a small boy, in the house of Giovanni Pietro Calabrese, after F Zuccaro; the boy standing at l, a man seated before him drawing, a woman seated by a fireplace at right and a man at work behind
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over black chalk
- Production date
Height: 270 millimetres
Width: 265 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Federico Zuccaro's drawing after which this is copied is now in the J.P. Getty Museum (99.GA.6.7; illustrated in colour on p. 14 of the 2007 catalogue).
Lit: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 317; . Brooks, in exhib. cat., Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 'Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro, Artist-Brothers in Renaissance Rome', 2007, p. 44, n. 19
Gere & Pouncey 1983
An old copy of one of the series of drawings by Federico Zuccaro illustrating the early life of his brother Taddeo (for the fullest discussion of them see Heikamp, 'Rivista', pp. 175ff.and 200ff.). The originals of twenty of the series, formerly in the Vindé Dimsdale, Lawrence and Phillipps-Fenwick Collections and subsequently in the Rosenbach Foundation in Philadelphia, are described in the catalogue of the seventh exhibition of the Lawrence Gallery in 1836 (nos. 1 to 20). The Rosenbach drawings, which were not known to Heikamp at the time when he published his article, consist of four rectangular and twelve 'dumb-bell-shaped' (four of these being horizontal and eight vertical) compositions of episodes in Taddeo's life, together with four horizontal 'dumb-bell-shaped' compositions of pairs of figures symbolising his virtues. According to Mariette ('Abecedario', ed. Chennevières and Montaiglon, Paris, 1851-60, vi, pp. 162ff), the series originally numbered twenty-four, the other four being symbolic portraits of Taddeo himself and of the three artists - Michelangelo, Raphael and Polidoro da Caravaggio - considered by Federico to be the dominant influences on his brother's style. Copies of nineteen of the twenty-four, including the four symbolic portraits but not Lawrence Gallery nos, 1, 10, 11, 14 and 19, are in the Uffizi, and one of Lawrence Gallery no. 19 is in the Albertina (all repr. Heikamp, 'Rivista', figs. 7ff.). Heikamp follows Körte (pp. 68f.) in suggesting that the series probably constituted a project for the decoration of a room in the Palazzo Zuccari in Rome, which Federico started to build in 1590. They point out that Federico intended that the palace should eventually house "un'Accademia, et ospitio per poveri studiosi di queste professioni" (see Heikamp, op. cit., p. 176). The theme of the series would have been appropriate to such a purpose, but no record exists of any such scheme having been carried out or even contemplated. There are painted versions on leather of seven of the series in the Museo del Palazzo Venezia in Rome, which Körte suggested could have formed part of the decoration of a small room or 'studiolo'.
The original of 1897,0410.9, in the Rosenbach Foundation, was no. 7 in the Lawrence Gallery. It illustrates the passage in Vasari's life of Taddeo Zuccaro (vii, p. 75) describing his hardships in the house of his master Giovanni Pietro Calabrese and his wife, who made him grind colours "day and night" without giving him enough to eat, hanging the bread from the ceiling in a basket to which bells were attached which rang whenever it was touched; "ma questo arebbe dato poca noia a Taddeo se avesse avuto commodo di potere disegnare alcune carte, che quél suo maestraccio aveva di mano di Raffaello da Urbino".
The youthful Taddeo, identified by the inscription "TADDEO" on the border of his tunic, stands holding a lamp for his master who, as the inscription on the Rosenbach drawing (see below) makes clear, is copying one of his Raphael drawings from which Taddeo is forced to avert his eyes. The basket of bread is suspended from a pulley in the window. Calabrese's wife sits by the fire spinning. The boy in the background grinding colours at a table is also Taddeo, identified in the original drawing by the word "ZVCCHARO" on the border of his tunic. Other inscriptions on the original drawing are: by the head of the figure of Taddeo holding the lamp: "tu mi privi di quel ch'io tanto bramo"; by the basket of bread: "al suon del canpanel, convien ch'io viva"; in the lower l.-hand corner: "giovan pietro Calavres non vol lasiarli vedere ..." This last is presumably the same as the almost erased inscription in the same place on 1897,0410.9, of which the words ". . . pietro Calavrese non/ . . . vedere i disegni" can be made out.
1897,0410.9 is certainly a copy. Other versions, of better quality and possibly autograph, are in the Uffizi (10993F; repr. Heikamp, 'Rivista', p. 206 and Gere, 'Uffizi Exh.', 1966, fig. 46) and in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (D. 1027).
Literature: Körte, p. 69, under no. 8; A.E. Popham, OMD, x (1935-6), p. 21; D. Heikamp, Rivista, p. 205, note 90; Gere, Uffizi Exh., 1966, under no. 75.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Gere & Pouncey 1983
According to a note in the Departmental Register, the drawing has been in the collections of King Charles I and Richard Cosway
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number