- Museum number
Head, shoulders and raised right hand of a youth looking down: fragment of a cartoon
Brush drawing in grey ink, over black chalk, with some lines indented, on two conjoined sheets of brown prepared paper
- Production date
Height: 203 millimetres
Width: 216 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 270
Gere & Pouncey 1983
1962,0714.2 and 1962,0714.3 are two fragments of a cartoon or full-size 'modello' for the Borghese 'Adoration of the Shepherds' (see Pp,2.187). 1962,0714.3 corresponds with the head and hand of the youthful shepherd on the extreme r. and 1962,0714.2 with the lower part of the r. leg of the seated figure in the background for which 1963,0420.4 is a complete study. The only difference is in the position of the fingers in 1962,0714.3: in the drawing the hand seems to be making a gesture of benediction with the forefinger and middle finger, whereas in the painting the shepherd raises only his index finger with which he points upwards in the direction of the Holy Family.
What is evidently a third fragment of the cartoon, in the Uffizi (13859F; 'BMQ', ut. cit., pl. xxii; Davidson, 'Perino', no. 68), made up of two pieces of paper vertically joined, is on the same scale as 1962,0714.2 and 1962,0714.3 and in the same technique; its corresponds with the upper part of the group of the Virgin and Child and St Joseph in the l. background. Whether these are fragments of a cartoon or of a full-scale preparatory drawing (or 'modello') does not seem to us to be a question of any great importance. Miss Davidson, who discusses the Uffizi fragment without specific reference to 1962,0714.2 and 1962,0714.3, dismisses the former possibility on the grounds (a) of unequal finish, as in the hands of the angel which appear at the top of the fragment, and (b) absence of pricking. But the function of a cartoon is simply to determine the exact placing of the elements of a composition, and the position of the hands is precisely indicated even if they are not as fully worked out as other parts of the drawing; and pricking is not the only method of transference. It would be difficult to explain the traces of indentation on 1962,0714.2 and 1962,0714.3 on any other hypothesis than that they are fragments of a cartoon.
In the 1810 edition of Pilkington's 'Dictionary of Painters' (p. 539), Fuseli says that "the cartoon [of the Borghese 'Adoration'] still exists, in a private collection of drawings".
Literature: J.A. Gere, BMQ, xxvi (1962-3), pp. 40ff.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1964, BM, Michelangelo, no.137
1994, BM, 'The Study of Italian Drawings', No. 32
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Ex Earl of Plymouth, in the family from the early 19th century, from a collection kept in loose sheets with the bookplate of Edward, Earl of Powis of the 2nd creation (cr. 1804, d. 1839), and probably formed abroad, see BMQ, loc. cit., p. 42, note 1.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number