- Museum number
Two men and three women standing
Brush drawing in brown wash, on vellum
- Production date
- 1325-1350 (circa)
Height: 210 millimetres
Width: 233 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Attributed by Padre Resta to Giotto. Popham and Pouncey followed Waagen in thinking that this was most likely by a Sienese or Tuscan hand of the second quarter of the fourteenth century. Luigi Grassi thought it was by an artist in the circle of Pitero Lorenzetti, while Toesca, Degenhart and Schmitt, and Ragghianti have argued that the figure types are closer to those in Riminese paintings, such as the painting in S. Maria in Porto Fuori, Rimini (illustrated Degenhart and Schmitt I-1,fig. 167, p. 114). Andrea De Marchi has recently suggested that the drawing is close to the Redentore Master, an anonymous Veronese painter christened by Cuppini who painted frescoes in S. Fermo Maggiore, Verona, in 1319–20.
New provenance has been added thanks to de Moustier research into Lagoy as a collector (see 2008 article).
Lit.: J.D. Passavant, 'Tour of a German Artist in England', London, 1836, (translation from the original German ed. published in Frankfurt, 1833), II, p. 92; G. Waagen, 'Treasure of Art in Great Britain', London, 1854, I, p. 224 (as ? Simone Martini) A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries', London, 1950, no. 267, II, pl. CCXXIX (with previous literature); L. Grassi, 'Il disegno italiano dal Trecento al Seicento', Rome, 1956, p. 59; L. Grassi, 'I disegni italiani del Trecento e Quattrocento: scuole fiorentina, senese, marchigiana, umbra', Venice, n.d [1960?], no. 7 (as School of Lorenzetti); B. Degenhart and A. Schmitt, 'Corpus der italienischen Zeichnungen, 1300 1450, Süd und Mittelitalien', Berlin, 1968, I-1, no. 50, I-3, pl. 81a (as Riminese School c. 1350); C.L. Ragghianti, 'Trecento a Ferrara vicende pittoriche', republished in 'Pittura tra Giotto e Pisanello', Ferrara, 1987, p. 37; A. De Marchi ,'Tavole veneziane, frescanti emiliani, miniatori bolognesi: rapporti figurativi tra Veneto ed Emilia in età gotica', in S. Marinelli and A. Mazza, 'La pittura emiliana nel Veneto', Modena 1999 , p. 41, n. 46; B. de Moustier, 'The Italian Drawings Collection of the Marquis de Lagoy', "Master Drawings", 2008, 2, p. 193, fig. 5
Popham & Pouncey 1950
The scene is obviously incomplete and the object which attracts the gaze of the participants in it is not represented. To judge from the emotion shown by the woman in the centre, who with head lowered and hands clasped turns away to the l., it must be some poignant event - perhaps a martyrdom or a miracle.
Attributed by Resta to Giotto, under whose name it still appears in the Payne Knight MS. inventory. Waagen seems to have been the first to consider it Sienese: he thought that it was probably by Simone Martini. Recent critics see connections with works by one or other of the Lorenzetti. Péter, who compares the drawing with pictures by Pietro Lorenzetti (e.g. the Horne triptych and the 'S. Margaret' at Le Mans) considers that it is even more closely related in style to the 'Beata Umiltà' altar-piece in the Uffìzi, a picture which he, in common with other critics, ascribes to an associate of Pietro. Péter, however, does not believe that the drawing is by either of these artists and classes it as a product of the school of Pietro, dating it c. 1330. We see affinities with Ambrogio rather than with Pietro Lorenzetti; but it is possible that the drawing may after all prove to be Florentine.
Literature: Waagen, Treasures, i, 1854, p. 224; B.M. Guide, 1858, no. 1; A. Péter in Hommage à Alexis Petrovics, 1934, pp. 188 ff., fig. 103; A. E. Popham, O.M.D., xi (1936/7), p. 17, pl. 8.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The five portfolios Pp,1 to 5, contained the collection of 360 drawings by Italian artists bequeathed to the British Museum in 1824 by Richard Payne Knight. The drawings were numbered consecutively through the five albums, but in two series. Nos.1 to 151 were numbers assigned by J T Smith before his death in 1832; since Smith omitted by mistake the numbers 28 to 37, there were only 141 drawings in total. His successor W Y Ottley assigned to the remaining drawings a second series of numbers from 1 to 219. Together these two series made a total of 360 drawings. When the drawings were placed in the five portfolios, the Ottley drawings were placed first, in portfolios Pp,1 to 3. But Pp,3 still having some spare space, the Smith drawings followed on in portfolio 3 as well as occupying all of portfolios 4 and 5. Hence Pp,1 contains Ottley nos.1 to 79; Pp,2 Ottley nos.80 to 189; Pp,3 Ottley nos.190 to 219 and Smith nos.1 to 27; Pp,4 Smith nos.38 to 93; and Pp,5 Smith nos.94 to 151.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number