(IL POMARANCIO) Cristoforo RONCALLI (1552 - 1626)

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne Sold

Black chalk, heightened with touches of white chalk, on two joined sheets of paper, laid down.
Made up at the top right and lower right corners.
319 x 389 mm. (12 5/8 x 15 3/8 in.)

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This large and impressive sheet is drawn on two sheets of paper, with the sheet containing the figure of Saint Anne carefully joined at the left onto the sheet with the Virgin and Child. This would suggest that the artist may have originally intended the composition to include another figure, instead of Saint Anne, or that the figure of the saint was considerably altered from its original conception. The handling of black chalk and the extensive shading with hatched lines in the background are characteristic features of Roncalli’s draughtsmanship.

Although unrelated to any surviving painting or fresco by the artist, this drawing may, on stylistic grounds, be dated to the very end of the 16th century or the early years of the 17th century. The physiognomy of the Virgin and the voluminous draperies are typical features of Roncalli’s work of this period, as seen in such paintings as The Madonna and Child with Saints in the Roman church of San Gregorio al Celio, painted between 1602 and 1603, or the fresco of The Flight into Egypt in the sanctuary at Loreto, painted between 1605 and 1609. An increase in the size and monumentality of the figures in Roncalli’s paintings, as well as in the preparatory drawings for them, becomes evident around 1600.

Among stylistically comparable drawings in black chalk by Roncalli are a study of The Visitation in the British Museum and a group of four drawings of the Fathers of the Church in the collection of the Dukes of Devonshire at Chatsworth.

Provenance:
Possibly Charles Grey, Colchester and thence by descent to James Round, Little Birch
The Round family, Colchester
Their sale, Colchester, Bonham’s, 1 April 1954 (according to a note formerly attached to the old mount).

Cristoforo RONCALLI

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne

306

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