- Museum number
The Presentation of Christ; with the Virgin holding the child and giving it to the High Priest at centre, with onlookers on steps at either side; in a lunette
Pen and brown ink, brown wash
- Production date
- 1525-1527 (circa)
Height: 188 millimetres
Width: 286 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- There are two known copies after this drawing, one in the Louvre (inv. no. 6389) and in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Rio di Janiero (A.M. Ambrosini and R. Morselli, 'Disegni italiani della Biblioteca Nazionale di Rio di Janiero. La collezione Costa e Silva', Pesaro, 1995, no. 198).
For the etching in reverse after this drawing by Lucas Vorsterman II see W,2.152.
Lit.: A.E. Popham, 'Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino', Cambridge, 1971, no. 218, pl. 194; B. Py, 'Everhard Jabach Collectionneur (1618-1695), Les Dessins de Inventaire de 1695', Paris, 2001, no. 141, pp. 64-5; A. Gnann, 'Parmigianino, Die Zeichnung', Petersberg, 2007, no. 403
Bambach, Chapman, Clayton & Goldner 2000
The composition is found, lacking a number of figures, sketched in the semi-dome of V&A, E.2693-1920 (Bambach, Chapman, Clayton & Goldner 2000, cat. no. 86). It is inherently likely that it was devised for such an apsidal setting, for the curving figure group and architectural backdrop (plainly inspired by the Pantheon) give the whole a concave structure; however, the contrast between the highly cogitated nature of this composition and the flawed architecture of Bambach, Chapman, Clayton & Goldner 2000, cat. no. 86 does make it uncertain that it was devised 'ab initio' for that project.
Related to the present sheet is a contemporary study for a 'Betrothal of the Virgin' (École des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Popham, 'Parm.', no. 521, pl. 195), which is rectilinear in its setting but depends just as strongly on Raphael's 'School of Athens', copied by Parmigianino in a stylistically very similar drawing (Bambach, Chapman, Clayton & Goldner 2000, cat. no. 58). Both follow Raphael's idea of raising the central event on a broad set of steps flanked by subsidiary figures, thus spreading an intimate event across a wide pictorial field without resorting to a monotonous frieze of figures.
The pose of the figure at the far left of 1910,0212.34 was recycled by Parmigianino as 'Adam' in the underside of the arch of the Steccata (see Bambach, Chapman, Clayton & Goldner 2000, cats 103-15).
Literature: Popham, BM, no. 115; Popham, Parm., no. 218; Gnann 1996; Paris 1999-2000, no. 553
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1965, BM, Masterpieces of the Print Room, (no cat.)
1999/2000 Oct-Jan, Paris, Musée du Louvre, Denon 1747-1825
2000/1 Oct-Jan, BM, 'Drawings by Correggio and Parmigianino', No.87
2001 Feb-May, New York, Met Mus Art, Drawings by Correggio and Parmigianino, No.87
2003/4 Oct-Jan, Ottawa, NG of Canada, A Beautiful and Gracious Manner:...
2004 Jan-April, New York, Frick Collection, A Beautiful and Gracious Manner:...
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number