Orazio Fidani (Florence 1610 - Florence 1656)

A Young Boy with his Arm Raised Sold

Black and red chalk, on blue paper.
Inscribed Di Orazio fidani at the lower right.
190 x 145 mm. (7 1/2 x 5 3/4 in.)

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Only a handful of autograph drawings by Orazio Fidani are known, and just three may be securely related to extant paintings. Two of these are in the collection of the Biblioteca Marucelliana in Florence, which also houses three other drawings by the artist, and another is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Other drawings by Fidani are in the collections of the Uffizi and the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in Rome.

Confidently drawn in red and black chalk on blue paper, the present sheet would appear to be a preparatory study for the angel at the top of Fidani’s late altarpiece of Tobias Healing His Father’s Blindness, painted in 1654. Commissioned from the artist by the Galli family for the confraternity of the Compagnia della Scala in Florence, the painting hung in the entrance hall of the confraternity, and was frequently praised by critics as one of the artist’s finest works. With the suppression of the religious confraternities in the 19th century, the painting was transferred to the Uffizi in 1853, by which time it was in poor condition. Restored in 1984, the painting was sent on loan to NATO headquarters in Brussels in 1987.

An identical pen inscription ‘Di Orazio fidani’ appears on a study by Fidani of the head of a youth - also drawn in black and red chalk on blue paper - in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which is related to a painting of c.1645-1647.

Provenance:
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 21 November 1974, lot 80
Adolphe Stein, Paris, in 1977
Schröder und Liesewitz Kunsthandel, Bremen;
Private collection, Bremen.

Literature:
Christel Thiem, Florentiner Zeichner des Frühbarock, Munich, 1977, p.397, no.202, pl.202; Jacob Bean, 17th Century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979, p.140, under no.178; Marina Mojana, Orazio Fidani, Milan, 1996, pp.30-31, fig.25.

Orazio FIDANI

A Young Boy with his Arm Raised

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