- Museum number
Jupiter embracing Semele, both astride an eagle
Brush drawing in grey-brown wash, heightened with white (partly oxidised), on buff paper
- Production date
Height: 349 millimetres
Width: 262 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See Popham's report to the Trustees, 13 November 1945. Attributed by Popham to Giovanni Demio, having formerly been attributed to Perino del Vaga. Transferred to Nicolo dell'Abbate by J.A.Gere.
This is often likened to Nicolò dell'Abbate's splendid mythological drawing in the BM, 1895-9-15-678, but in fact the present work is not nearly as accomplished and might well not be autograph. Reading between the lines of Sylvie Béguin's entry in the 2005 catalogue on the far superior ex-Woodner 'Jupiter and Ganymede' she also does not accept it.
Lit.: M. Bénard, 'Cabinet de M. Paignon Dijonval', Paris, 1810, no. 445, p. 28 (as Primaticcio); A.E. Popham, 'Disegni Veneziani acquistati recentemente dal British Museum', "Arte Veneta", 1947, 3, p. 229, fig. 186 (as Giovanni Demio ?); G. Guglielmi, 'Profilo di Giovanni Demio', "Arte Veneta", XX, 1966, pp. 109-10, fig. 129 (Popham's attribution to Demio accepted); exhib. cat., Washington, National Gallery of Art, 'The Touch of the Artist, Master Drawings from the Woodner Collections', 1996, under no. 50; B. Py, 'Everhard Jabach Collectionneur (1618-1695), Les Dessins de l'Inventaire de 1695', Paris, 2001, no. 83, p. 52; S. Béguin and F. Piccinini (eds), exhib. cat., Modena, Foro Boario, 'Nicolò dell'Abate: storie dipinte nella pittura del Cinquecento tra Modena e Fontainebleau', 2005, under no. 94, p. 317
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- See letter book for 1945 under Spink. The letter there shows that this drawing was purchased for £23 from C.Marshall Spink of 86 Croom Road, Croydon, for presentation to the BM. There is no clue as to the identity of the anonymous donor - though it was most likely Count Seilern.
This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number