Giovanni Francesco ROMANELLI
(Viterbo 1610 - Viterbo 1662)
Inscribed Petr. Beret. Da Cortona at the lower right.
160 x 234 mm. (6 1/4 x 9 1/4 in.)
RECENTLY ACQUIRED BY THE BIBLIOTHEQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE, PARIS.
This drawing is, in fact, one of only three known preparatory studies by Romanelli for his important fresco cycle in the Galerie Mazarin, which is today part of the site of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. (As Jörg Merz has suggested, the paucity of drawings related to the Galerie Mazarin may be due to the fact that Romanelli might not have had the time to make numerous drawings for such a large and elaborate commission that was completed in about a year.) Of the other two known studies by Romanelli for the Galerie Mazarin, a lost drawing for The Judgement of Paris was formerly in the collection of the 18th century art historian Charles Rogers, and is recorded in an aquatint etching by the printmaker James Basire, while a study for The Burning of Troy appeared at auction in 1994.
Among stylistically comparable drawings by Romanelli from his Parisian period is an allegorical depiction of The Glorification of France, today in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille.
Andrew Smithson, Thornton Heath, Surrey
Private collection, England
Crispian Riley-Smith, Yorkshire
Private collection, New York
Thence by descent.