- Museum number
Ground plans and elevations of the colonnade of St Peter's, Rome, study for a print; a bird's eye view at centre flanked by two trumpeting winged figures holding scrolls
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over black chalk, with lines indented
- Production date
Height: 522 millimetres
Width: 841 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 21
The drawing shows the design of Bernini's Colonnade around St Peter's Square, Rome, and was engraved in the same direction by Giovanni Battista Bonacina (?1620-after 1664) (see Kitao, 1974, fig. 24). The print, which is dated between April and September 1659 (Brauer and Wittkower, 1, 1931, p. 81), contains further inscriptions on the scrolls borne by the angels in the centre, and measurements in palmi have been added to the key, inscribed in black chalk on either side of the drawing. These and other differences between drawing and engraving are noted by Kitao (1974, p. 11, n. 154).
Although Brauer and Wittkower gave the drawing to Bernini's workshop, some of the line-work, for example in the two angels holding the scrolls, is sufficiently close to that of Bernini himself as to make his intervention more than a possibility. Indeed, it would seem inconceivable that so important a print could have been issued without his close supervision at the various stages of its design.
Literature: Brauer and Wittkower, 1931, 1, pp. 81-3; II, pl. 162a; Kitao, 1974, pp.40-42, fig.60; Varriano, 1985-6, p.54; Edinburgh, 1998, no. 67.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1968 BM, Piranesi, no.8
1972 BM, The Art of Drawing, no.194
1978 BM, Gainsborough and Reynolds in the BM, no.235
1998 Jun-Sep, Edinburgh,NG, Roman Baroque Sculpture & Design
2014-5 Nov-Feb, Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Kunste, 'Bernini'
2015 Mar-May, Rome, Palazzo Barberini, 'Bernini'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number