- Museum number
Caricatures heads of a Pope and six Cardinals, in profile to right, after Maratti.
- Production date
Height: 188 millimetres
Width: 355 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: N. Turner, 'Italian Baroque Drawings', London, 1980, no. 31; N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 198
In 1736, when in the collection of Jonathan Richardson, senior, this drawing was etched in reverse by Arthur Pond. Pond and Charles Knapton collaborated on a series of prints after Old Master drawings, of which Pond's etching after the present sheet is one (see Hake, 1922, p. 348, no. 92 [see 2006,U.1134 and 1936,1116.2126.64]). For a group of caricature drawings of heads by Maratti also etched by Pond in this same series, but for which there is so far no evidence to show that they had ever belonged to Lord Hampden, see Ff,3.206 and 1874,0808.119-124.
Judging from the physiognomy alone, the pope represented is either Clement IX Rospigliosi (reg. 1667-9) or Innocent XII Pignatelli (reg. 1691-1700), who were rather similar in appearance.
If the story related in the inscription on the back of the mount is true, even if only in part, it is perhaps likelier that Maratti would have had a mistress (and thus have been affected by her removal) when he was in his forties, during the reign of Clement IX, than in his late sixties, during the reign of Innocent XII. A drawing in the Uffizi, Florence, placed under the name of Maratti (inv.no. 1737 F; Gernsheim no.28154) of angels and putti holding up the portraits of five popes includes portraits of both Clement IX and Innocent XII, with that of Clement IX in profile. So close is that profile to the pope in the present drawing, even to the distinctive indentation at the bridge of the nose and the jutting chin, that it seems to settle the matter in favour of Clement IX. Maratti knew his features well, painting a portrait of him in 1669, now in the Vatican, other autograph versions of which are in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire and in the Hermitage, St Petersburg (Mezzetti, 1955, p. 345, no. 151). The reference to Jesuit cardinals in the inscription is, however, inaccurate (and revealing of Richardson's prejudice) since the Jesuits were reluctant to accept high ecclesiastical office and in the history of the Society few cardinals have ever been appointed. There appear to have been no Jesuit cardinals during the reign of Pope Clement IX.
A drawing at Windsor Castle attributed to Carlo Maratti (inv.no.4111; Blunt and Cooke, 1960, no. 342), which has hitherto been identified as Clement IX, surely represents Innocent XII and is perhaps to be associated with the name of Giovanni Maria Morandi (1622-1717); another, weaker version of his drawing is in the British Museum (1946,0713.1255). Both are distinctly related, in reverse, to the engraved portrait of Innocent XII, after Morandi, published by de' Rossi, an impression of which is in the British Museum (inv.no.1848,0304.127).
In the Fondazione Horne, Florence, is a drawing by Carlo Maratti of six caricature heads and an idealised female head (inv.no. 5928; at present on deposit at the Uffizi). The drawing bears the collectors' marks of Nadianiel Hone and Charles Rogers. Three of the caricature heads can be matched with 1956,0512.3, for the same pope, identified above as Pope Clement IX, appears in the upper centre of the Florence drawing; the cardinal with large ears and an aquiline nose, on the furthest left of the London drawing, reappears in the lower centre of the Florence sheet, while the cardinal with his single buck-tooth and bulging nose, third from the left in the row, is placed in the lower left corner in the drawing in Florence.
Literature: Reveley, 1820, p. 104; Juynboll, 1934, p. 160; London, 1974, p. 64, no. 228; Mena, 1975, I, pp. 289ff.; Turner, 1980, no. 31; James et al., 1991, pp. 20-21, figs 15 a-b.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1964 Dec-May, BM, Hogarth, no.76
1974 July-Dec, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.228
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Inscribed on the back of the mount: "Sold at Ld. Hampden's sale 1799/to M Pugh. Bought of him [the price apparently erased], from Fairfax Murray Colln."
The drawing cannot be traced in the 1827 sale catalogue of John Viscount Hampden (1749-1824) [See Inscription], though Reveley (1820, p. 104) mentions as follows what is evidently it: "Lord Hampden has the caricatures in red chalk, which have been engraved by Pond." On the other hand, it has proved impossible to trace whether or not the drawing was at one time in the collection of the marchand-amateur Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919). Juynboll (1934, p. 160) suggested that it may once have belonged to Padre Sebastiano Resta and was one of a group given by Lord Somers to Richardson senior in return for his assistance in negotiating Somers's acquisition of the Resta collection, shortly after the beginning of the second decade of the eighteenth century. Part was purchased from Resta himself and part from the heirs of Bishop Marchetti.
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