- Museum number
Study for an allegorical portrait of the Marchese Pallavicini; two standing figures, another seated sketching, with putti
- Production date
Height: 351 millimetres
Width: 267 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. 151, no. 4; N. Roio, 'Michele Rocca, un pittore emiliano a Roma tra Barocco e Rococó', "Antichità Viva", 1993, 6, p. 46, fig. 12 (as Rocca); N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 194
The drawing entered the Museum with the Phillipps-Fenwick collection, as by Carlo Maratti, and was published by Mezzetti in 1961 as a primo pensiero by the artist for his 'Self-portrait with Marchese Pallavicini', a picture now belonging to the National Trust, at Stourhead, Wiltshire, which is signed and dated 1705. In October 1970 the drawing was transferred to Michele Rocca, called il Parmigianino (c. 1675-1751); at the suggestion of Vitzthum. Since Maratti delegated so much of his work to pupils in his old age, the issue of the authorship of his late paintings and drawings remains vexed. By 1705 he was in his seventies; his eyesight was poor, he had palsy and he found it hard to hold his brush. Nevertheless, he continued to direct his assistants and prepared the drawings and sketches for the many works that continued to emanate from his studio under his name. Although it is tempting therefore to give certain drawings associated with his late period, such as the present one, to pupils, on account of some stiffness in execution, in this instance the stylistic grounds seem insufficient to overturn the traditional attribution to the master.
In the Stourhead picture the artist is shown seated in the lower right-hand corner, wearing the Cross of Knighthood that was awarded to him in 1704. He is distracted from his work by the sight of Apollo who points the Marchese in the direction of the Temple of Virtue, where two winged horses and some figures can be seen. A half-size version of the picture by Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (1654-1727), with many variants, belongs to Lord Rothschild and is on display at Spencer House, London.
A painting of 'Apollo Conducting a Patron of the Arts to the Temple of Fame' by Michele Rocca, il Parmigianino, was formerly on the London art market and shares some compositional elements with the British Museum drawing (Hazlitt's, 'Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Painting', exh. cat., May-June 1965, no. 23, pl. 8a).
Literature: Popham, 1935, I, p.151, no.4; Mezzetti, 1961, fig. 182a; Harris and Schaar, 1967, p. 142; London and Edinburgh, 1973, under no. 101; Rudolph, 1995, p. 76, fig. 45 and p. 77.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number