- Museum number
A hunting party amid trees; with a woman at centre, some men on horseback and hounds
Pen and brown ink and brown wash, heightened with white, over black chalk, on blue-grey paper
- Production date
Height: 415 millimetres
Width: 325 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is generally considered to be related to a large theatrical curtain (now lost) which Zuccaro painted for a play performed in the Sala dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence on 26 December 1565 as part of the festivities celebrating the marriage of Francesco de'Medici and Joanna of Austria. A number of drawings related to the project survive - including a 'finished watercolour, signed and dated 1565, in the Uffizi, Florence; a detailed pen and ink and wash study for the left side at Chatsworth; and three detailed chalk drawings in the Hermitage, St Petersburg (C. Acidini Luchinat, 'Taddeo e Federico Zuccari', I, Milan-Rome, 1998, figs. 31-5, pp. 242-3). A pen and ink study of the two figures hunting the stag on the right side was sold at Drouot, Paris, 19 December 2001, lot 165 as Attributed to Camillo Procaccini. The BM drawings differs from the Chatsworth and Uffizi studies in a number of details, not least the inclusion of women, and Acidini Luchinat has recently suggested that it is not for the 1565 Florentine curtain but a version of it created for Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoy during Zuccaro's stay in Turin in 1605-7. In support of it not being for the Florence commission is the fact that the Uffizi and Chatsworth drawings are lit from the right, while in the present one the lighting is from the opposite direction.
This was called Francesco Salviati in Dezallier d'Argenville's collection (see Labbé and Bicart-Sée) A facsimile in reverse is in C.M. Metz, 'Imitations of Ancient and Modern Drawings from the Restoration of the Arts in Italy to the Present Time', London, 1798 (expanded edition of 1789).
Lit.: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 289 (with previous literature); N. Turner, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Florentine drawings of the sixteenth century', 1986, no. 162; C. Acidini Luchinat, 'Taddeo e Federico Zuccari', II, Milan, 1999, p. 259, fig. 67; J. Labbé and L. Bicart-Sée, 'La collection de dessins d'Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d'Argenville: reconstituée d'après son abrégé de la vie des plus fameux peintres, édition de 1762', Paris, 1996, p. 106
Gere & Pouncey 1983
Attributed to Titian when in the Payne Knight Collection (inscription on Metz's engraving), to Palma Giovane in the General Inventory of 1837, and to Paolo Veronese in the Payne Knight Inventory of 1845. Voss was the first to point out that the drawing is by Federico Zuccaro, a study for the group in the l. foreground of the curtain ("una grandissima tela che Pnva la scena in testa della sala": Vasari, vii, p. 100) ich he painted for a play performed in the Sala dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio on 26 December of 1565 as part of the festivities celebrating the marriage of Francesco de' Medici and Joanna of Austria. The curtain itself has disappeared, but a contemporary describes it as representing "una caccia con gran numero di figure, & a cavallo, & a piedi, con cani, & uccelli, che cacciavano in un grandissimo, & bellissimo paese" ('Descrizione dell'Apparato della Comedia ... recitata in Firenze il giorno di S. Stefano 1565', p. 6). What is obviously a 'modello' for it, signed by Federico and dated 1565, 'ETATS SVE XXV' is in the Uffìzi (11074F; Gere, 'Uffizi Exh.', 1966, no. 48, fig. 33).
Pp,3.196 and the 'modello' agree in the position of the trees and in the general disposition of the figures, but there is no point of exact correspondence. This study must therefore have preceded the one at Chatsworth (202; repr. 'Old Master Drawings from Chatsworth', Smithsonian Institution, Washington, etc., 1962-3, no. 74, repr.) for the l.-hand half of the composition, which corresponds with the 'modello' in every detail but one.* A small squared study for the whole composition, in pen and wash on purplish-brown prepared paper, was in the collection of the late Mr William Martin in London c. 1950. What may be a study for an eventually discarded group in the r. foreground is in the Uffizi, under the name of Poccetti (8294F; Gernsheim 12325). Preparatory drawings for the curtain were probably made in September 1565: in a letter dated the 21st of that month Vasari reported to Vincenzo Borghini that Federico still had ten days to complete his scene (Frey, 'Nachlass', ii, 1920, pp. 209ff). Federico had spent most, if not all, of the previous year in Venice and there is a certain Venetian flavour about Pp,3.196 - though not about the later, penultimate stage represented by the 'modello' - which may explain why it came to be attributed to a succession of Venetian artists.**
Literature: Metz, Imitations, facsimile engr. in reverse (Weigel 8411); Voss, p. 454, note 1, and Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, NF xxiv (1913), p. 152; Körte, p. 72; Uffizi Zuccaro Exh., 1966, under no. 48.
* In the 'modello' Federico's name and the date are inscribed on the tree-stump in the centre foreground; in the Chatsworth drawing he has represented himself on a diminutive scale on a trestle in front of the tree-stump in the act of painting the curtain.
** Another drawing by Federico of about this period, the study formerly in the Pembroke Collection at Wilton and now at Oberlin College, Ohio, for the central roundel of 'God the Father' on the vault of the chapel at Caprarola, had also been attributed to Titian (see Strong, 'Wilton', no. 9).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1986, BM, Florentine Drawings 16thC, no. 162
1992 Oct-Dec, UEA, 'Florentine Drawings' (no cat.)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Gere & Pouncey 1983
P. Crozat ? (L. 2951: paraph preceded by "404". The paraph L. 2951 was formerly associated with Pierre Crozat but it now known to be that of d'Argenville, see J. Labbé and L.Bicart-Sée, 'Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d'Argenville as a collector of drawings', "Master Drawings", XXV, 3, Autumn 1987, pp. 276-81
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number