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Bartolomeo Cesi (1556 - 1629)



July 5, 2013
London, United Kingdom

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BOLOGNA  1556  -  1629 RECTO:  STUDY  OF  A  KNEELING  MONK  AND  OF  HIS  HEAD VERSO:  STUDY  OF  A  KNEELING  MONK Red  chalk,  heightened  with  white  chalk  (recto  and  verso),  on  blue  paper; bears  old  attribution  in  pen  and  brown  ink,  verso:  del  Cesi 333  by  221  mm


Newcastle, 1982, no. 30


Alessandro Maggiori (L.3005b, with his inscription, mostly obscured, on the verso: Ales. Maggiori compro / a Bologna l'anno 1792,...); Ludwig Pollak (L.788b); sale, London, Christie's, 30 September 1975, lot 104, purchased by Ralph Holland


These studies are for the figure of St. Pietro Tommaso in Cesi's altarpiece of the Crucifixion with St. Andrew, St. Bartholomew and St. Pietro Tommaso which was commissioned by Filippo Zini in 1584 for his family chapel in S. Martino, Bologna and is recorded as being on the altar by 12 May 1585. As Di Giampaolo comments, (loc. cit.), the work shows the influence of Roman artists such as Muziano and Venusti. The figure in the painting corresponds more closely to the study on the recto, although the position of the Saint's right hand is more like that on the verso. A study for the whole composition, with significant differences, is at Windsor.1 St. Pietro Tommaso (1305-66) was born in France and joined the Carmelite Order. He played a major role in church affairs, at Avignon during the schism, and later in Constantinople and the eastern Mediterranean. He founded the Faculty of Theology at Bologna University, which is perhaps why he was included in this altarpiece. 1. A. Graziani, F. Abbate and M. Di Giampaolo, Bartolomeo Cesi, Milan 1988, p. 164, reproduced fig. 5 and the altarpiece fig. 6

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