- Museum number
A nude woman playing a tambourine (Miriam), her arms raised, study for a mosaic lunette in St Peter's
Red and black chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper
- Production date
Height: 422 millimetres
Width: 270 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 187
The principal study of the nude figure is drawn in red chalk, heightened with white. With the exception of the smaller, separate study of the right foot, the detail studies drawn around this figure are in black chalk, heightened with white. They comprise a study for the drapery over the figure's raised right upper arm, in the bottom left corner; and, in the top right corner, another study for this same detail, with below a study for the drapery covering the raised left upper arm. In the middle, on the right, is an alternative study for the head, shoulders and arms; and, in the bottom right corner, two separate studies for the right foot, the study on the left being in red chalk.
The studies are for the figure of Miriam, in one of the mosaic lunettes in the Cappella della Presentazione, in St Peter's, Rome, for which see T,13.106. Both the mosaic and an autograph replica of the composition, now in the Busiri-Vici Collection, Rome (Mezzetti, 1961, fig. 184a), show the figure in the same direction.
Two drawings in the Academia de San Fernando, Madrid, are rapid preliminary studies for the same figure, clothed in full drapery (inv. nos 616 and 613; Alcaide, 1965, nos 33 and 34; Mena, 1975, II, pp.631-2, nos 121 and 120). Another drawing for the figure, also clothed, is in the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (inv. no. FP 1141; Harris and Schaar, 1967, no. 319). A study for the drapery at the figure's waist is in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (inv. no.Kdz 16566; Berlin, 1969, p. 58, no.115). Finally, a compositional study by a member of Maratti's school is also at Düsseldorf (inv. no. FP 1327; Harris and Schaar, 1967, no.375); and a drawing in the British Museum (T,13.106), while certainly not a copy after the final composition, seems to be a slight sketch by the master.
Literature: Mezzetti, 1955, p.345; Mezzetti, 1961, p. 385 and fig. 184b; Alcaide, 1965, under no. 33; Harris and Schaar, 1967, pp.117 and 121; Mena, 1975, II, p.630.
Watermark: fleur-de-lys in a circle
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number