- Museum number
St Teresa kneeling in front of an effigy of the Infant Christ in a niche, study for an engraving; landscape with buildings and gardens beyond
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white (partly oxidised), on light brown prepared paper
- Production date
Height: 142 millimetres
Width: 109 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- 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', London, 1935, p. 141, no. 4; N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 93
This is a finished study for one of the prints in a series of engravings of the life of St Teresa of Avila by the French engraver, Guillaume Chasteau (or Château), who was active in Rome in 1655-9 (Le Blanc, 1854, I, p. 636, no. 37; Davis, 1986, pp. 114 and 154). The drawing is, however, to a larger scale than the corresponding engraving, and the outlines do not appear to have been gone over with the stylus for transfer.
Chasteau's series consists of at least 35 scenes; their purpose is unknown, but it would appear that they were intended as book illustrations. According to Davis (p. 102, n. 41), a set of 34 of the prints is in the Hofbibliothek, Vienna, where they are kept with the prints after Ferri, and there are a number in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, including one not in the group at Vienna. In size the prints average about 98 x 68 mm. Although Chasteau engraved the entire series (his initials as sculptor appear on each of the prints), they were taken from the designs of at least two artists other than Ferri. Lazzaro Baldi (q.v.) provided at least nine of the designs. Eight are in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle: Blunt and Cooke catalogued them as by a follower of Cortona (1960, nos 641-8), but they were recognised as the work of Baldi by Vitzthum (1961, p. 514). The ninth drawing is in the Louvre, Paris (inv. no. 3084; Davis, 1986, p. 103). For a drawing by Andrea Sacchi for this series see 1946,0713.802.
Besides the present drawing, drawings by Ferri for which corresponding prints from Chasteau's series are known comprise the following: 'Christ Appearing to St Teresa', Holkham Hall, Norfolk (inv. no.III.15; Popham and Lloyd, 1986, no. 121); 'Christ Appearing to St Teresa', the Louvre, Paris (inv.no. 482), which, like the British Museum drawing, is larger in scale than the corresponding engraving; and the 'Virgin and Child Saving Souls in Purgatory', Uffizi, Florence (inv. no. 9622 s), with the difference that in Chasteau's print the figure of St Teresa also appears. A black chalk drawing of a 'Winged Angel Appearing to St Teresa and her Companions among Clouds' in the Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, California (inv. no. p.965), which Davis (1986, p. 82) is inclined to give to Lazzaro Baldi, is so close in conception to the British Museum drawing, in spite of the difference of technique, that the former attribution to Ciro Ferri should be maintained.
Literature: Popham, 1935, I, p.141, no. 4 (as Ferri); Davis, 1986, pp. 81-2, 115 and 222, fig. 24.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number