Attributed to Pedro Atanasio BOCANEGRA

(Granada 1638 - Granada 1688)

The Flight into Egypt [recto]; Study of a Seated Male Nude and a Sketch of the Forelegs of a Horse or Donkey [verso]

Pen and brown ink and grey wash, over an underdrawing in black chalk, with framing lines in brown ink.
The verso in red chalk and pen and brown ink.
Illegibly inscribed on the verso.
Inscribed Coll. S(?). J. R. / Wm. Brough on the verso.
Further inscribed Collect. W. S. Brough [?] Londres 1919 22 May Sotheby on the verso.
177 x 170 mm. (7 x 6 3/4 in.)
A stylistic comparison may be made with a signed pen drawing by Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra of Saint Jerome in the Uffizi in Florence. The Uffizi drawing, which is signed ‘Pedro Atanasio’ in a miniscule form, displays the strong influence of Alonso Cano’s draughtsmanship on Bocanegra’s own drawings. The anatomical studies in pen and ink on the verso of the present sheet also find parallels in a study of a leg in the aforementioned drawing of Saint Jerome in the Uffizi.

This drawing was at one time part of the collection of mainly Italian and French drawings formed by Gustave Soulier (1872-1937), an art historian and the Director of the Institut des Beaux-Arts in Florence and later in Naples. His collector’s mark combines his initials with the Florentine lily and the cypress of Tuscany.

A native of Granada, Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra is thought to have been a pupil of Alonso Cano (1601-1667), the leading artist in the city at the time, in the 1650s. He may certainly be considered as one of Cano’s closest followers, and much of his painted oeuvre is indebted to the example of the older artist, whom he may have assisted on a series of large paintings of the Life of the Virgin for the Cathedral in Granada, between 1662 and 1664. Little is known of Bocanegra’s life and career, which seems to have been mostly spent in Granada. He worked at various churches and convents in the city, and in 1673 was named the maestro pintor of the Cathedral. Bocanegra’s paintings show, apart from Cano, the influence of another local painter, Pedro de Moya, as well as the work of Anthony Van Dyck, filtered through his prints. In 1676 he was summoned to the court in Madrid, but his work did not find favour there and he soon returned to Granada.

As a draughtsman, Bocanegra’s style is also largely dependent on the example of Cano’s pen drawings, which he is thought to have had access to, and may sometimes have copied. Only a handful of drawings have been firmly attributed to Bocanegra, including sheets in the Louvre and the Uffizi. As Lizzie Boubli has noted of Bocanegra, ‘very few drawings can be considered as from his hand...But they show an independence from the art of Cano and an original talent.’


William S. Brough, J.P., Leeds and London (Lugt 2652)

His posthumous sale, 1919 (according to an inscription on the verso)

Gustave Soulier, Florence and Naples (Lugt 1215a)

David Jones, London and Paris, in 2002

Pandora Old Masters, New York

Private collection.


Paris and London, David Jones Fine Art (UK) Ltd., Old Master Drawings, 16th – 19th Century, n.d. (2002), no.20.

Attributed to Pedro Atanasio BOCANEGRA

The Flight into Egypt [recto]; Study of a Seated Male Nude and a Sketch of the Forelegs of a Horse or Donkey [verso]