- Museum number
St Augustine's vision of the Trinity; one putto holding an open book, more books on the floor, two putti above with arms and a mitre.
Pen and brown ink, grey wash.
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 169 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. 143, no. 1 (as Garzi); N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 115
Popham's remark that the drawing is obviously for an engraving, probably to illustrate a book, was vindicated in a note by Dieter Graf, dated May 1980, on the old backing, which pointed out its connection with an anonymous print, an impression of which is in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (inv. no. FP 14475 D). In his note, however, Graf stated that the drawing is a copy; but given the competence of the handling, the fact that the image corresponds in size and is in the reverse direction to the engraving as well as the general proximity to Gaulli's style of drawing, it seems more likely that this is the finished preparatory study for the engraving, as Graf now agrees (letter of 6 December 1993). The composition shows St Augustine contemplating an apparition of the Holy Trinity, the subject of his treatise 'De Trinitate'. In the print the Hebrew tetragram "JHWH" has been inserted into the triangle in the upper left corner.
Neither the inventor nor the engraver is named in the print. Nevertheless, Grafs suggestion that Gaulli is the author of the composition, based on the style of the British Museum drawing, has much to recommend it, hence its classification here as "attributed to Gaulli". However, an element of doubt about the authorship remains, and the old attribution to Garzi should not be altogether discounted.
Literature: Popham, 1935, I, p. 143, no. 1 (as Garzi).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number