- Museum number
Four studies of the Virgin and Child; various poses including one at lower right with putti supporting a screen at either side
Pen and brown ink
Verso: Four studies of the Virgin and Child as above; including one at lower left with putti supporting a wreath of flowers
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
- 1448-1478 (circa)
Height: 274 millimetres
Width: 183 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Watermark: three mounts.
Lit.: A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 261, II, pls. CXXIV, CCXXV(with previous literature); E. Ruhmer, 'Marco Zoppo', Venice, 1966, pp. 50-1, 74, figs 66-7; L. Armstrong, 'The Paintings and Drawings of Marco Zoppo', New York and London, 1976, pp. 158-62, 172-83, 406-7, no. D. 9, figs 47-8; A.J. Elen, 'Italian late Medieval and Renaissance Drawing Books from Giovannino de’Grassi to Palma Giovane: a codicological approach', Utrecht, 1995, no. 32; G. Fiocco, 'Notes sur les dessins de Marco Zoppo', "Gazette des Beaux-Arts", XLIII, April 1954, p. 228; ; H. Chapman, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Padua in the 1450s: Marco Zoppo and his contemporaries', 1998, no. 19 (with further literature)
Popham & Pouncey 1950
The attribution of this sheet to Marco Zoppo was first made in 1796 by Giovanni Maria Sasso, but was rejected by Novelli, who engraved it as Mantegna. Fry, loc. cit., apparently unaware of Sasso's attribution, gave it afresh to Zoppo, as whose work it has been generally accepted. It seems to have been a leaf of a sketch-book of which the following drawings may also be fragments:
i. Brunswick. The Nativity. Verso: Sacra Conversazione (repr. 'L'Arte', v (1934), p. 231). 26.5 x 18.6 cm.
ii. Hamburg, Kunsthalle. A Madonna and Child carried into the air by three cherubs, in front of a building; below to the 1. a Virgin and Child and Infant S.John; to the r. three Orientals (repr. Fiocco, op. cit., p. 341). Verso: Madonna, turned to the 1., suckling the Child, a kneeling female saint and two musician angels (repr. Fiocco, op. cit., p. 339). 24.9 x 18.6 cm.
iii. Hamburg, Kunsthalle. Virgin seated to the r. suckling the Child. Verso: Virgin adoring the Child lying on her lap and, above, fragment of drapery (repr. Fiocco, op. cit., pp. 342 f.). 13 x 8.2 cm.
iv. Frankfurt, Städel-Institut. Death of a Saint, with six male and four female saints lamenting behind a parapet. Verso: Death and Assumption of the Virgin (repr. 'Handzeichnungen . . . im Städelschen Kunstinstitut', ix (1911), 5 and 6). 14.8 x 17.2 cm.
v. Munich. Sheet with three studies of the Virgin and Child and one of the Virgin and Child with two saints (K. T. Parker, 'North Italian Drawings', pl. 18). Verso: Similar studies. 28.8 x 19.6 cm.
vi. See 1946,0713.13.
vii. Turin, ex-Royal Library. Two studies of the Virgin and Child (repr. Fiocco, op. cit., p.345).
viii. Louvre, no. R.F. 29484. The Entombment. 10.8 x 18.9 cm.
It is possible that the copy after Mantegna discussed, 1854,0628.62, may also have formed part of this series. Fiocco, op. cit., p. 340, dates the hypothetical sketch-book in the early seventies, and sees in it Bellinesque elements appearing together with the Mantegnesque-Ferrarese ones of the artist's earlier period.
Literature: Waagen, Treasures, Suppl., 1857, p. 77; G. Campori, Lettere artistiche inedite, Modena, 1866, pp. 319 f.; R. Fry, Vasari Society, First Series, ii (1906/7), 15,16; B.M. Guide, 1912, no. 2; G. Fiocco in Miscellanea.. .in onore di I. B. Supino, p. 337; C. Dodgson, A Book of Drawings..., p. 6.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1983 Feb-Mar, Nottingham UAG, 'Italian Drawings', no. 24
1983 Mar-May, V&A, 'Italian Drawings', no. 24
BM, 'Padua in the 1450s', 1998, no. 19
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Popham & Pouncey 1950
A. Barker (?: Waagen, loc. cit. 'infra', describing Barker's collection, speaks of what seems to be this sheet of studies as forming part of the volume catalogued, 1920,0214.1.1-26, but this provenance, for the present sheet, is doubtful; he describes the volume as containing fifty leaves, and speaks of the recto and verso of the present drawing as though they were separate sheets. Both particulars fit, not with the volume, but with Novelli's book of engravings, and it seems therefore probable that Waagen wrote up his account from rough notes with Novelli's book in front of him, and concluded that everything therein contained was part of the volume. The style of binding and mounting of the volume is earlier than Barker, and there is no indication of a leaf having been removed from it. In any case, a sheet of rough sketches, on paper considerably larger than the parchment leaves, would have looked out of place in the volume).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number