- Museum number
Two studies for a composition of Daniel in the Lions' Den
Head of a girl in profile to left
- Production date
Height: 94 millimetres
Width: 75 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- One of six drawings for this composition in the BM (See 1905,1110.36-38; 1905,1110.40; 1946,0713.441* and 1905,1110.44), for a list of other connected drawings see 1905,1110.8. This composition was probably intended for one of the two ovals which Parmigianino at one stage proposed to place in the centre of the coffered vault of the steccata, it could also be for the decoration of the south arch.
See Popham, 'Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino', Cambridge, 1971, No.235.
In addition to the six drawings for this composition here catalogued (1905,1110.36-38; 1905,1110.40; 1946,0713.441* and 1905,1110.44), nine others are known to me either in the original or in old facsimiles :
(a) Frankfurt, Staedelsches Kunstinstitut 14405 (Popham, 'Parmigianino', pl. xlvb).
(b) Louvre 6418 (photo. Gernsheim 6943; 1964 Exh. Cat., no. 90; Popham, 'Parmigianino', pl. xlva).
(c) Louvre 6454 (photo. Gernsheim 6939).
(d) Parma Gallery 510/21. Facsimile engr. by B. Bossi (Weigel 5786).
(e) Victoria and Albert Museum 4898 verso (see Popham, 'Parmigianino', p. 36).
(f) London, collection of Mr. Benedict Nicolson. A copy formerly in the collection of Sir Bruce Ingram now belongs to Mr. C. R. Rudolf.
(g) Windsor, Royal Library 0527 (Popham, no. 564).
(h) Facsimile by Rosaspina (B.M. 1919,0415.224) of a study for the figure of Daniel and the separate study for his legs (1946,0713.441*).
(i) Facsimile by Rosaspina (B.M. 1919,0415.659) of a study for the lion which appears in (a) on the l. under Daniel's arm.
1905,1110.37 and (a), (b), (d) and (f) are studies for the whole composition. In (a), (b) and 1905,1110.37 this is an elongated oval in shape, and in (d) and (f) it is octagonal. In (d) it is surrounded by an octagonal moulding, and in (b) an octagonal moulding of precisely similar pattern encloses the oval.
I had suggested (Popham, 'Parmigianino', p. 36) that this composition was probably intended for one of the two lengthways ovals which Parmigianino at one stage proposed to place in the centre of the coffered vault of the Steccata (cf. 1918,0615.3), but J. A. Gere has pointed out that it is more likely to be connected with the decoration of one or other of the adjacent 'sottarchi'. The medallions on the coffering were never, so far as is known, envisaged in any other shape than oval, whereas in the only two studies for the present composition in which its frame (as opposed to its shape) is indicated, this frame is octagonal; and the combination of an oval medallion within an octagonal moulding in the Louvre drawing (b) is exactly paralleled in the intermediate plan for the decoration of the 'sottarchi' shown in Ff,1.86 recto and - significantly - on the recto of the Victoria and Albert drawing (e).
To judge from Ff,1.86, there were to have been five such medallions on either 'sottarco'. The uppermost of the three there indicated, which would have come in the centre of the arch, is shown as an upright composition; but to be feasible in practice such an arrangement must be symmetrical, and with an odd number of medallions could only be so if the composition in the centre medallion were lengthways.
Literature: Quintavalle, p. 199; Emilian Drawings, no. 51(a); Popham, Parmigianino, under pl. xlvb.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- For a note on the acquisition history, see 1905,1110.11.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number