- Museum number
Study for an intarsia panel; Assyrian camp at night with the maidservant of Judith in profile holding a sack with the head of Holofernes on the left, sleeping soldiers with tents in the background. 1527
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash
- Production date
Height: 314 millimetres
Width: 245 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- A study for the 'intarsia' (a composition made up of pieces of wood of different colours and tones) showing the Old Testament subject of 'Judith', one of four large rectangular compositions on the exterior of the choir screens, designed by Lotto for Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo. Lotto produced sixty-eight coloured cartoons for the 'intarsie' which he sent from Venice to the 'intarsiatore' Capoferri in Bergamo. This is one of only two surviving studies for the commission (the other, a much rougher compositional study of 'Samson slaying the Philistines' is in the Pierpont Morgan Library). The present drawing cannot be part of the cartoon because it is smaller than the panel but the careful finish and the colour notes indicate that it immediately preceded it. The 'Judith' panel was under way in August 1527 and the drawing most likely dates from earlier that year.
Lit.: P. Pouncey, 'Lotto disegnatore', Vicenza, 1965, p. 18, pl. 20; Y. Tan Bunzl, in exhib. cat., Edinburgh, Merchants' Hall, 'Italian 16th-century drawings from British private collections', 1969, no. 42; D. Scrase, in exhib. cat., London, Royal Academy, 'The Genius of Venice, 1500-1600', 1983, no. D21; N. Turner, in exhib. cat., BM, 'The Study of Italian Drawings: The Contribution of Philip Pouncey', 1994, no. 57
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2007 Jun-Nov, BM, Recent Acquisitions Part I, no cat.
- 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.
The drawing was offered in lieu of duty on the estate of Myril Pouncey, the widow of Philip, in accordance with their joint intentions. The Museum, Libraries and Archives Council ask that the item be recorded as: "Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Trustees of the British Museum for the display at the British Museum" (see letter 22 March 2004)
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number