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Taddeo Zuccaro (1529 - 1566)

Lot 18: Taddeo Zuccaro (1529-1566)

Christie's

July 1, 1997
London, United Kingdom

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Description

Saint Paul standing, with his right arm raised with inscription 'bartolomeo b[eat]o cavalo' ( verso ) brush and red ink, red wash heightened with white, upper corners made up 388 x 240 mm. PROVENANCE Sir Peter Lely (L. 2092). The Earl of Essex, Cassiobury Park, according to an inscription on the verso. NOTES Connected with Taddeo's work in the Frangipani Chapel in San Marcello al Corso, Rome, where he executed the altarpiece of the Conversion of Saint Paul, and frescoes of further scenes from Paul's life on the side walls and ceiling. Given Taddeo's willingness to transfer figural motifs from one composition to another, allied to his taste for experiment, and especially for reversal, the drawing could have been made for The Raising of Eutychus, Saint Paul healing the Cripple, or The Blinding of Elymas, J. Gere, Taddeo Zuccaro. His development studied in his drawings, London, 1969, pls. 85, 89 and 91. While it does not precisely resemble the figure of Saint Paul as executed in any of these frescoes, it is strikingly close to the protagonist in a compositional drawing for the Blinding of Elymas at Windsor, A.E. Popham and J. Wilde, The Italian Drawings of the XV and XVI Centuries in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle, London, 1949, no. 1057, pl. 84. Furthermore, like that fresco and unlike the other two candidates, it is lit from the right. This is also the case with two related studies for the figure of Saint Paul, one in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (J. Gere, op. cit., pl. 100), and the other in the Baltimore Museum of Art (J. Mundy, Renaissance into Baroque. Italian Master Drawings by the Zuccari 1550-1600, exhib. cat., Milwaukee, 1989, no. 20, illustrated), which are similarly lit from the right. Taddeo also made a preparatory study of this figure, lit from the left, in the Albertina (V. Birke and J. KertŠsz, Die Italienischen Zeichnungen der Albertina, Vienna, I, 1992, no. 625, illustrated), and included a similar figure in a compositional study for the Raising of Eutychus, J. Gere, op. cit., pl. 84. It is therefore tempting to assume that the figure was first tried out for the Blinding of Elymas and only subsequently transferred to The Raising of Eutychus : evidently the artist wished to avoid making these two frescoes too compositionally homogeneous. In the event, this splendid creation, of which the present study is the most finished resolution, was never used in a painting by Taddeo. The invention did not go to waste, however, since his younger brother Federico employed it as the basis for the figure of Christ in his Raising of Lazarus in the Grimani Chapel in San Francesco della Vigna, Venice, W.R. Rearick, Battista Franco and the Grimani Chapel in Saggi e Memorie, 2, 1958-59, p. 129, fig. 13. The use of red wash in the present drawing is a highly original technique developed by the artist and is closely comparable to the striding figure in a drawing in the Accademia (London, Courtauld Institute and elsewhere, Old Master Drawings from the Galleries dell'Accademia, 1990, no. 6, illustrated on the cover) as well as the recto of the double-sided sheet in the Art Institute of Chicago of Sheet of Studies for the Blinding of Elymas, Sacrifice at Lystra, and a Holy Family, J. Mundy. op.cit., no. 15, illustrated. The present sheet will be included in a forthcoming article on Taddeo's Zuccaro drawings by Hugo Chapman.

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OLD MASTER DRAWINGS

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Christie's
July 1, 1997, 12:00 AM EST

London, United Kingdom