- Museum number
Two kneeling saints (James and Eulalia) on clouds adoring an effigy of the Virgin and Child held by putti with the city of Pistoia below
Pen and brown ink, with blue-grey wash, over black chalk
The silhouette of a city with towers and two or three domes, seen against a hilly background, is visible at the bottom of the sheet, faintly drawn in black chalk.
- Production date
- 1644 (circa)
Height: 178 millimetres
Width: 135 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The attribution to Gimignani is due to Nicholas Turner. Ursula Fischer Pace, according to Sutherland Harris' review, identified the two saints as James and Eulalia, the patron saints of Pistoia, which if correct also identifies the city in the drawing for which they are interceding. This hypothesis was proven to be correct when the related painting turned up on the Austrian art market and was subsequently published by Silvia Benassai in 2012 (pl. 61). The painting includes a cityscape of Pistoia in the lower part with the two Pistoian saints kneeling on clouds before a painting of the Virgin and Child held aloft by two child angels. The drawing differs from the picture in a number of respects and is clearly a study for it. Benessai suggests that the newly discovered painting is a modello for an unexecuted painting made for Gimignani's hometown of Pistoia, perhaps for the basilica of the Madonna dell'Umiltà: in a letter of 1644 the artist's patron and fellow Pistoian Giulio Rospigliosi (later Clement IX) mentions that the painter was planning to offer an altarpiece for that church.
Lit.: N. Turner, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Roman Baroque Drawings', London, 1999, I, no. 124; A. Sutherland Harris, review of Turner 'Roman Baroque Drawings', "Master Drawings", 39, 4, 2001, p. 124; S. Benassai, 'Una precisazione su Giacinto Gimignani', "Paragone", 749, July 2012, pp. 44-50, fig. 60
The drawing was formerly placed with those of the anonymous unmounted Italian School. Giacinto Gimignani's authorship was first recognised by Turner in August 1978, and the drawing placed in the mounted series under the artist's name in January 1992.
The two saints appear to be interceding before a sacred image of the Virgin and Child on behalf of the city below. Both SS James and Ursula are associated with interventions against the plague. It is likely that the work for which this drawing was preparatory was intended to celebrate the abatement of an outbreak of the plague in the city represented at the bottom of the drawing.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: A,07.54