- Museum number
Nymphs bathing and a clothed woman appearing through trees at left, after Coryn Boel, formerly in an album
Verso: A woman seated to left raising a cloth, after Titian, and other studies
- Production date
Height: 185 millimetres
Width: 269 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See also Curator's comment in 1988,1105.91(1).
Lit.: N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 231
As Cocke (1972(b), pp. 27-8) was the first to observe, the figures correspond, in reverse, to those in the background of Palma Vecchio's 'Bath of Diana', of about 1525-8, in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Demus, 1973, pl. 7); by the 1650s, Palma's picture was in the collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, but it is just conceivable that Mola may have known it before it left Venice in 1638-9. Cocke pointed out that Mola almost certainly based his copy on the engraving after the picture by Quirin Böl, issued in David Teniers's 'Theatrum pictorium', or 'Le Théâtre des peintures' (Brussels, 1660; no.207 in 1684 edition), which reverses the composition. In the 1650s, Teniers began the project of copying some 243 Italian paintings, from the more than 500 in the Archduke's collection, and his copies were used as modelli for the engravings, in reverse, of the paintings which were then published together in the volume. Teniers's own copy of Palma Vecchio's 'Bath of Diana' (21 x 30.8 cm) was recently on the New York art market (sale, Sotheby's, 30 January 1998, lot 34).
When making his drawing, however, Mola could hardly have been working from his memory of Böl's print, as Cocke claimed, but must instead have been copying directly from it, freely and to a slightly larger scale.
Cocke also recognized that the figure of a woman raising a cloth on the verso of the present drawing corresponds, in reverse, to the female attendant on the left of Titian's 'Diana and Callisto', also in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Demus, 1973, pl. 11). The figure would also have been copied from the engraving after it by T. van Keffel, no. 96 in the 'Theatrum pictorium', which similarly reverses the composition.
Literature: Cocke, 1972(b), pp. 27-8; Lugano and Rome, 1989-90, no.III.119
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1989 Sep-Nov, Museo Cantonale d'Arte, Lugano, 'Mola', no. III.19
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- From an album of chiefly 17th-century Italian drawings, with a 19th-century binding inscribed: "CHALKS"; on the back fly-leaf: "Broke Hall". The entire album was purchased using £240 donated to the BM by Sotheby's. Some drawings were mounted at the time of acquisition by the Museum (1963,1109.29-31, 1963,1109.26-27, 1963,1109.24-25); the remainder was registered in 1988 (see 1988,1105.91 and sub-numbers).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number