- Museum number
The Adoration of the Shepherds; the Virgin and Child (?) crouched down at centre, figures in a doorway to right, a figure at left turning round
Pen and brown ink, some black chalk
- Production date
Height: 127 millimetres
Width: 128 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Related drawing in the Uffizi (11485 F).
Lit: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 53; A. Emiliani, 'Federico Barocci (Urbino 1535-1612)', Ancona, 2008, II, no. 63.41; N. Turner, 'A "Nativity" by Barocci at Chatsworth for Paintings in the Prado and formerly in the Rasini Collection', "Master Drawings", 51, Summer 2013, pp. 189-194
Gere & Pouncey 1983
In Sothebys' sale catalogue as "Italian School, late 16th century" and described as the "Martyrdom of a Female Saint". The attribution to Barocci and the identification of the subject as the 'Adoration of the Shepherds' are alike confirmed by a related drawing in the Uffizi (11485F; di Pietro, fig. 144 and Gernsheim 15909). This lacks the group of shepherds, but the composition has the same unusual square format and the figure on the left of 1966,0723.1 occurs in it on the opposite side and in reverse, more fully realised and recognisable as St Joseph.
The figure on the left in 1966,0723.1 is probably a shepherd: a similar figure of a shepherd occupies the same place in the composition in Uffizi 11432F (di Pietro, fig. 152), a larger and more detailed drawing which Olsen regards as the point of departure for both painted treatments of the composition.
Olsen lists the Uffizi drawing among those connected with the Prado 'Nativity' (his pl. 88), probably painted in 1597, but describes it as a "sketch for a different version". His list of drawings includes some that he connects with the variant painting of the subject in the Rasini Collection, Milan (his pl. 89; di Pietro, fig. 154, when in the Mengarini Collection, Rome), evolved 'pari passu' with the Prado composition (and, indeed, described by di Pietro as the 'terzo pensiero' for it).
The object drawn in black chalk in the lower left foreground of 1966,0723.1 seems to be the back view partly cut away, of a standing nude man like the one in the forefront of the right-hand group, but on a larger scale and drawn with the sheet turned at right angles. There is a pentimento for this figure in the right-hand group, which the artist began by drawing on too small a scale.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1966-7 BM, Recent Acquisitions, no.9
2006 Feb-May, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 'Federico Barocci in British Collections'
- 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