- Museum number
The Adoration of the Shepherds, study for a print (? unexecuted) after Gaetano Gandolfi; the Virgin cradling the Christ Child over the manger, St Joseph looking on at right. 1829
Pen and grey ink, grey wash, over black chalk
- Production date
Height: 393 millimetres
Width: 517 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- A copy after his father's painting now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, D. Biagi Maino, 'Gaetano Gandolfi', Turin, 1995, no. 245, pp. 408-9, fig. 270; C. Whistler, 'Baroque and later paintings in the Ashmolean Museum', London, 2016, no. 41. The present drawing is almost certainly the one referred to in an inscription on the verso of a preparatory study by Gaetano for the painting also in the Ashmolean, K.T. Parker, 'Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, Italian Schools', Oxford, 1956, no. 999, p. 502. The inscription written by Giovani Battista Fornasari, a former pupil of Gaetano and the patron of the 'Adoration', refers to a wash drawing executed by Mauro in July 1829 after the painting in order to make an engraving. The related print is unknown and it may have never been executed. Mauro's will of 1831 likely records the present drawing, 'un disegno all'inchiostro della China da me eseguito d'appresso un presepio di mio padre'(quoted in Whistler 2016, p. 155). The drawing differs slightly from Gaetano's original: a ray of light illuminating the Christ Child, and a doorway to a stable with an ass behind St Joseph have been added.
The present work was rightly described as an 'engraver's drawing' in the department register and was duly placed among the prints made after Gaetano Gandolfi's work. This location explains why it has been overlooked in Gandolfi scholarship and it was only moved to the drawing collection when Antony Griffiths retrieved it from the Italian Master series.
Lit.: H. Chapman, 'A Mauro Gandolfi print study: lost and found', "Print Quarterly", 2011, 28, pp. 321-22
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2019, 13 Sep–13 Dec, USA, University of San Diego, University Galleries, Christ: Life, Death and Resurrection, Italian Renaissance Drawings & Prints from the British Museum
2020, 25 Jan–28 Sep, USA, Santa Fe, New Mexico Museum of Art, The birth, death and resurrection of Christ: from Michelangelo to Tiepolo
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Verso bears unidentified collectors mark, GL conjoined within a black circle.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number