- Museum number
A Bacchanalian procession, after Raphael; the drunken Silenus on his ass at r, with Maenads and Satyrs, and a goat jumping through a hoop
Pen and brown ink, over black chalk, squared for transfer
Verso: Study of the muscles of two legs, after Michelangelo
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
- 1600-1650 (circa)
Height: 279 millimetres
Width: 427 millimetres
- Curator's comments
Watermark: a device, surmounted by a cross.
The verso sketch derives from drawn studies of the flayed limbs by Michelangelo (Corpus 107): see comment under 1866,1208.653, a page from so-called the `Bandinelli album` containing anatomical studies.
Lit.: A.E. Popham, 'Catalogue of Drawings in the Collection formed by Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., F.R.S., now in the possession of his Grandson, T. Fitzroy Phillipps Fenwick of Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham', I, London, 1935, pp. 92-3, no. 7, pl. XLIV (as School of Raphael); P. Pouncey and J.A. Gere, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Raphael and His Circle', London, 1962, I, no. 62, II, pl. 65; E. Fiori, 'Raffaello e la Corte Estense' in exhib cat., Bologna, Pinacoteca Nazionale, 'L'Estasi di Santa Cecilia di Raffaello da Urbino nella Galleria Nazionale di Bologna', 1983, p. 315, fig. 255 (as attributed to Girolamo da Carpi)
Pouncey & Gere 1962
Attributed to Titian in the Lawrence-Woodburn Sale. No drawing identifiable with this occurs under his name in the Lawrence MS. inventory, but the item immediately following the Titians is: "Timoteo da Urbino. Bacchanalian Procession, free pen, very fine". The compiler of the sale catalogue presumably interpreted the initials "T. V. V." on the mount as standing for 'Tiziano Vecellio Veneziano', and was no doubt encouraged in this belief by the subject-matter and by a superficial resemblance to Titian-Campagnola pen-drawings.
Popham pointed out that 1946,0713.502 is merely a weak, and very much later, copy of a Raphaelesque composition known through an engraving by Agostino Veneziano (B. xiv, p. 192, 240). He noticed that 1946,0713.502 is by the same hand as the two drawings at Stockholm, D and E below, and quotes Fischel's opinion (cf. 'Umbrer', p. 238) that these are the work of a so-called 'Calligraphic Forger' discussed by him in the 'Burlington Magazine' (li (1927), pp. 26 ff.). In our opinion, only one of the drawings there reproduced is by the same hand as 1946,0713.502. We do, however, attribute the following drawings to this copyist:
A. Louvre 4348. 'The Finding of Moses': corresponding, in composition, with a drawing by Viti (1946,0713.79).
B. Louvre 3967. 'Four figures in an Entombment': corresponding with a study by Raphael in the Ashmolean (Parker 5325 F [iv] 173), with the addition of a woman and a sarcophagus.
C. Bayonne 145 (Bean 134). 'A Group of Vintagers': copy of a drawing by Raphael in the Ashmolean (Parker 524; F [ii] 88).
D. Stockholm 332 (Sirén, 'Handteckningar' 304, repr.; Schönbrunner-Meder viii, 882). 'Mercury and Aglauros', after Timoteo Viti (see 1946,0713.78).
E. Stockholm 318 (Sirén, 'Handteckningar' 306; Schönbrunner-Meder ix, 984). 'The Finding of Moses', after Timoteo Viti (see 1946,0713.79).
F. Stockholm 334 (Sirén, 'Handteckningar' 305; repr. by him in 'Dessins et tableaux de la renaissance italienne dans les collections de Suède', Stockholm, 1902, opp. p. 56). 'A Group of Nude Men'. A version, possibly by the same hand, in the Fogg Museum (Mongan-Sachs, fig. 88) is said to have come from Urbino.
G. Stockholm 320 (Sirén, 'Handteckningar' 324). 'The Virgin and Child enthroned between two standing saints and a group of kneeling figures'.
H. Stockholm 324 (Sirén, 'Handteckningar' 314). 'The Entombment'.
I. ex-Habich Collection, Cassel (O. Eisenmann, 'Ausgewählte Handzeichnungen älterer Meister aus der Sammlung Edward Habich', Lübeck, 1890, i, pl. 1; also repr. Fischel, 'Burlington', ut cit., p. 27). 'The Death of Adonis' : copy of a drawing by Raphael in the Ashmolean (Parker 539; F [iv] 200).
J. ex-Habich Collection, Cassel (Eisenmann, op. cit., pl. 2; F [iv], fig. 175). 'Studies of a nude man standing, seen from behind'.
K. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Parker 631, not repr.). 'The Virgin and Child'. Parker, while noting that Fischel's group is not homogeneous, ascribes this drawing to the 'Calligraphic Forger' and observes that it must be a copy of a lost study by Raphael.
L. Vienna, Albertina (F [iii] 133). 'The Virgin and Child with S. Elizabeth and the Infant Baptist'. The composition is copied by another, earlier, hand on a sheet at Chantilly (F [iii] 132) which was formerly in the Antaldi Collection.
M. British Museum. 1960,1115.7.
Though Viti is neither the 'forger' in question, as was traditionally held (cf. Fischel, 'Corpus', i, p. 13, also Robinson, 'Oxford', p. 340), nor the inventor of the Bacchanal composition, the fact that 1946,0713.502 should have been attributed to him is significant. All five Stockholm drawings were given to him when in the Crozat Collection, and two of them (cf. 'Recueil d'estampes d'après les plus beaux tableaux et d'après les plus beaux desseins qui sont en France ... tome premier, contenant l'école romaine', Paris, Basan, 1763, p. 24), are known, and the other three may be assumed, to have been among the drawings acquired by Crozat from the Viti-Antaldi Collection. 1946,0713.502 may well have come from the same source: the initials "T. V. V." on the mount no doubt record the Antaldi attribution to Viti as found, for example, on 1946,0713.78 and 1909,1020.1 [see acquisition comment]. Drawings A, D and E repeat compositions by Viti and B, I, L and M are connected with drawings formerly in the Antaldi Collection. Thus there is every indication that this group of pen and ink copies is by some 'virtuoso' draughtsman who had access to the Antaldi Collection, where some at least of his productions remained. The inscription "1535" on 1946,0713.502 is no help in dating them, since from their style they are likely to be much later. We would not place earlier than the seventeenth century the red chalk half-length male nude on the verso of Stockholm 334 (not mentioned by Sirén) which gives a clearer glimpse of this draughtsman's personal style than do his copies. (Cf. a somewhat similar drawing, inscribed with the name of Ippolito Rombaldoni, d. 1618; repr. 'Mostra di cento disegni . . . della biblioteca di Urbania', Urbino, 1959, pl. 76.) In any case the date of Crozat's purchase, 1714, provides a 'terminus ante quem' for his activity and disposes of Fischel's suggestion that the 'forger' may have been a late eighteenth-century Englishman. Two studies of a leg on the verso seem to us by an inept sixteenth-century hand.
See also 1875,0710.2619 and 1939,0201.1 and Pouncey & Gere 1962 Appendix III.
Literature: Popham, Fenwick, p. 92, no. 7.
Drawing by the 'Calligraphic Forger'
This is a typical example of the work of the 'Calligraphic Forger', who was active probably in the late seventeenth century and who made facsimile copies of drawings by Raphael (1483-1520). His hand was first named and described by the Raphael specialist Oskar Fischel in 1913. Earlier collectors frequently confused his drawings with those of Raphael himself, though it is doubtful whether the drawings were really intended as fakes.
It is a facsimile copy of a Raphaelesque composition known from an engraving by Agostino Veneziano. The drawing was previously attributed to Titian.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1990 Mar-Sept, BM, Fake?, no.132
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Pouncey & Gere 1962
'Une bacchanale' by Viti was part of lot 196 in the Crozat Sale. It is true that the previous lot included "une Bacchanale & l'Estampe d'après ce Dessein, gravée par Augustin Venitien", but this is definitely not to be identified with 1946,0713.502: it was smaller, since Picart describes it as being the same size as the engraving ('Impostures innocentes', Amsterdam, 1734, p. 7).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number