- Museum number
The Virgin and Christ Child appearing to St Stephen, the kneeling St Hyacinth and Sebastian tied to a tree
Pen and brown ink with brown wash over black chalk (the figure of St Hyacinth on an inserted piece of paper)
- Production date
- 1594 (circa)
Height: 346 millimetres
Width: 227 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Formerly placed among the unmounted Italian drawings under the name of Francesco Vanni, this was identified as a study by the Netherlandish artist Jan Soens by Heiko Damm (email 20/1/2011): 'This drawing seems to be a preparatory study for the pala 'The Madonna appearing to St Hyacinth, with St Stephen, St Roch (in the background, lacking in the modello), and St Sebastian', painted soon after the canonization of Hyacinth Odrowaz (1594) for the Dominican church of S. Pietro Martire, Parma and now in the civic Pinacoteca. It would therefore be a further addition to the Catalogue of Parmese Drawings in the BM. The central saint is identifiable by means of the Virgin's words written on the banderole, pronouncing her kind response to his prayers: "GAUDE FILI IACINTE QUIA ORATIONIS TUAE GRATAE SUNT ...".
The drawing differs from the painting in a number of details, such as the differences in pose and number of the child angels surrounding the Virgin and Child (for an illustration of the work see B.W. Meijer, 'Parma e Bruxelles, committenza e collezionismo farnesiani alle due corti', Milan, 1988, fig. 53). The lack of changes, albeit with the central figure of St Hyacinthus cut out from the sheet and replaced by one drawn on an inserted sheet of paper, as well as the pictorial finish with carefully applied wash, suggest that this drawing may have been made to show the composition to the artist's patrons. If so the addition of Roch, rather awkwardly positioned beneath Sebastian's right arm, was a late change.
Two more drawings are known by this artist (at Kunsthalle, Hamburg and Royal Collection, Windsor), see S. Béguin, 'An Unpublished Drawing by Jan Soens at Windsor Castle', in Master Drawings 28 (1990), pp. 275-279; B. Meijer, 'Jan Soens', in Fiamminghi a Roma 1508-1608, exhib.cat. Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 1995, pp.324-326.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Probably not from Lawrence-Woodburn sale.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number