Giuseppe Cesari Cavaliere d'Arpino (Arpino 1568 - Rome 1640)

The Annunciation Sold

Red chalk on light brown paper, laid down.
Indistinctly inscribed B. Ellins[?] Vices[?] at the lower left and, in a different hand, Corregio at the lower right.
Numbered 30 at the lower right.
245 x 213 mm. (9 5/8 x 8 3/8 in.)

ACQUIRED BY THE CHAPEL ART CENTER, ST. ANSELM COLLEGE, MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE.

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This fine sheet is an exceptional example of Arpino’s confident draughtsmanship. The drawing is a preparatory study for an altarpiece of The Annunciation, painted between 1594 and 1596 for the Cappella Aldobrandini in the church of Santa Maria in Via in Rome. The decoration of the chapel had been left unfinished by Jacopo Zucchi in 1594, and Arpino was commissioned by Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini to paint the altarpiece and two frescoes on the lateral walls of the chapel, which served as the resting place of his father, also called Pietro Aldobrandini.

A related compositional drawing by Arpino for the Aldobrandini Annunciation, also in red chalk and formerly in the Maranzi collection in Rome, appeared at auction in London in 1967 and 2008. Of the two drawings, the present sheet is closer to the final painting in the poses of the figures, though the ex-Maranzi drawing more faithfully reproduces the architectural background of the altarpiece. Herwarth Röttgen has noted of the former drawing (and, by extension, the present sheet) that it shows Arpino’s tendency to make his figures quite youthful in appearance, endowing them with a sense of innocence and charm.

Provenance:
Private collection, France.

Literature:
Marco Simone Bolzoni, Il Cavalier Giuseppe Cesari d’Arpino: Maestro del disegno. Catalogo ragionato dell’opera grafica, Rome, 2013, p.53, p.256, no.109, illustrated in colour p.53, fig.40.

Giuseppe Cesari CAVALIERE D'ARPINO

The Annunciation

598

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