Giovanni Battista DELLA ROVERE
(Milan c.1561 - Milan c.1630)
The Blessing of a Cardinal
Signed and dated fiaminghino BR 1618 lulio(?) on the verso.
Inscribed Juan Flamengo / XV siècle on the verso.
Further inscribed (in a modern hand) D. Calvaert / 1540-1619 on the verso.
231 x 326 mm. (9 1/8 x 12 7/8 in.)
Among stylistically comparable drawings by Giovanni Battista Della Rovere are a study of The Meeting of Saints Carlo Borromeo and Filippo Neri in the Albertina in Vienna and a drawing of Saint Ambrose Tries in Vain to Take the Body of Saint Dionysus to Milan (which, like the present sheet, is dated 1618), formerly in the Marquis de Lagoy and Flury-Hérard collections; that drawing is a study for a fresco in the small church of San Dionigi in Cassano d’Adda, near Milan. Also similar is a drawing of Moses in the Szépmüvészeti Múzeum in Budapest, which is a preparatory study for a fresco in Sant’Angelo in Milan, and a study of A Bishop Saint (Ambrose?) Exorcising the Devil in the Art Institute of Chicago.
The present sheet bears the collector’s mark of the Romanian physician and scientist Ioan (Jean) Cantacuzino (1863-1934), a member of the illustrious aristocratic Cantacuzino family who assembled a fine collection of drawings and prints of various schools. At his death, a group of works was donated by his widow to the Toma Stelian Museum in Bucharest, which later became part of the National Museum of Art of Romania. Most of the rest of the collection was dispersed by the collector’s heirs in two auctions in Paris in 1969.
Probably the posthumous Cantacuzène sale (Collection J.C.), Paris, Hôtel Drouot [Rhiems], 4-6 June 1969