- Museum number
A group of soldiers and two busts and figure sketches to right; one soldier standing to left, looking down to front, another seated in the foreground looking up at him, figures behind
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over black chalk
- Production date
Height: 406 millimetres
Width: 245 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Cristina Acidini Luchinat in her recent monograph considers it more likely that this drawn specifically by Taddeo for one of the Exodus Old Testament scenes, the 'Moses and Aaron before Pharoah', painted by his brother Federico and assistants in 1560-66 in the Vatican Belvedere for Pius IV (the painting is illustrated in colour on 62 of the Getty catalogue). As she points out the head of bearded man drawn in the right margin is similar to that of Pharoah in the fresco. In further support of this connection is the close relationship between the head sketched immediately below and the figure in profile behind the soldiers in the Vatican fresco. Taddeo's involvement in helping his brother is shown by other studies related to the Belvedere scenes.
Lit.: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 337; C. Acidini Luchinat, 'Taddeo e Federico Zuccari, fratelli pittori del cinquecento', Milan, 1998, I, pp. 145 and 155, n. 76; . Brooks, in exhib. cat., Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 'Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro, Artist-Brothers in Renaissance Rome', 2007, p. 63, fig. 17
Gere & Pouncey 1983
So far as it goes, this statement is entirely correct. Baglione (p. 121) mentions a series of "storie di Faraone, e di Moisè" painted by Federico Zuccaro in the Vatican Belvedere. These frescoes still exist, in a room now part of the Museo Etrusco. The two principal figures in the group appear in the lower r. corner of the fresco of 'Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh', of which there is an engraving by Cort, dated 1567 (BdH 18). They occupy the same position in a drawing of the 'Adoration of the Magi' at Chatsworth (197), traditionally attributed to Taddeo Zuccaro but certainly by Federico and probably an early design for his altarpiece in the Grimani Chapel in S. Francesco della Vigna in Venice. Payments to Federico for his Belvedere paintings are recorded in September and October 1563 (Ackerman, p. 178, doc. 156), shortly before his departure for Venice. The Grimani Chapel Adoration is dated 1564.
Though these figures occur in two compositions by Federico, there can be no doubt that Ff,1.26 and SL,5211.15, a sheet of slighter studies for the two principal figures, are by Taddeo. They are more likely to be discarded studies for one of his own compositions than drawings made especially for his brother's benefit. One possible explanation is that these are studies for the group on the r. of the 'Donation of Charlemagne' in the Sala Regia (first payment, May 1564: see 1946,0713.108), made when the composition was still envisaged with the figures on two levels (see 1946,0713.108). The pose of the single figure roughly sketched on the r. of Ff,1.26 comes very close to that of the soldier in the r. foreground of the fresco, while the uppermost of the two bearded heads drawn above could be a sketch for the face of the old man which appears above and behind the r. shoulder of the same figure.
Literature: Gere 97.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 May-Jun, Hermitage, 'Italian Renaissance', no. 70
1977 Jul-Aug, Pushkin, Moscow, 'Italian Renaissance', no. 70
1980, Adelaide and Melbourne, no. 71
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Inscribed on verso by Barnard, in pen and brown ink: "J:B: No. 317. 16 by 9 3/4".
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number