Description: Three studies for the Birth of the Virgin with subsidiary studies of the principal figures
with inscription 'Massimo'
pen and brown ink, watermark Orfini Arms
7 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (191 x 268 mm.)
Artist or Maker: Massimo Stanzione (Naples 1585-1656)
Exhibited: London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1925, p. 44, no. 40.
London, Magnasco Society, Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Drawings, XVII-XVIII Century, 1927, no. 27.
Naples, Museo di Capodimonte, Civiltà de Seicento a Napoli, Naples, 1984, no. 3.87.
Literature: W. Vitzthum, Le Dessin á Naples du XVIe Siècle au XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1967, under no. 24.
M. Cause Picone, 'Nuove proposta per Stanzione disegnatore' in Scritti de Storia dell'Arte in onore di Federico Zeri, Milan, 1984, p. 600.
Provenance: Anonymous sale; Puttick and Simpson, London, 2 August 1923 (to Meatyard).
Purchased from Meatyard (10s.).
Notes: Massimo Stanzione was one of the most influential artists working in Naples in the early 17th Century, particularly if measured by the number of followers and imitators his paintings spawned and by his impact on later Neapolitan art. Despite his large output of altarpieces and frescoes this drawing is one of the very few which have been associated with his name.
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The drawing can be compared with sheets by Stanzione in the Zarnowski Collection, Paris (W. Vitzthum, op.cit., 1967, no. 24, pl.XI). The Zarnowski drawing, connected with the Pietà of 1638 in the Certosa of Naples, is the only drawing by Stanzione associated with a specific project.
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