Recto: Sketch showing details of a decorative scheme for the eastern vault of the Madonna della Steccata, Parma thumbnail 1
Recto: Sketch showing details of a decorative scheme for the eastern vault of the Madonna della Steccata, Parma thumbnail 2
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On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H , Case PD, Shelf 280

Recto: Sketch showing details of a decorative scheme for the eastern vault of the Madonna della Steccata, Parma

Drawing
ca. 1531-1539 (drawn)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

drawing


object details
Category
Object Type
Additional TitleVerso: Rough sketches of a male figure kneeling, a female figure in profile, an animal, a human leg (published title)
Materials and Techniques
Recto: pen and ink and wash, with green and orange water-colour; verso: pen and ink
Brief Description
Drawing, Recto: Sketch showing details of a decorative scheme for the eastern vault of the Madonna della Steccata, Parma, verso: Rough sketches of a male figure kneeling, a female figure in profile, an animal, a human leg, by Parmigianino, Italian School, pen and ink and wash, ca. 1531-1539
Physical Description
drawing
Dimensions
  • Height: 130mm
  • Width: 86mm
Style
Production typeDesign
Marks and Inscriptions
Verso: inscribed in ink in an old hand: 'franciscus mausolus'
Object history
Provenance: N. Lanier (Lugt 2886); Sir P. Lely (Lugt 2092); J. Richardson, Sr (Lugt 2183); Sir T. Lawrence (Lugt 2445); Rev Dr H. Wellesley (sale, Sotheby, 30 June 1866, lot 1037, bought by J. C. Robinson for the Museum)
Bibliographic Reference
Ward Jackson, Peter, Italian Drawings. Volume One: 14th - 16th century, London, 1979, cat. 236, p. 117, illus. The following is the full text of the entry: PARMIGIANINO Girolama Francesco Maria Mazzola called il Parmigianino (1503 – 1540) 236 Recto Sketch showing details of a decorative scheme for the eastern vault of the Madonna della Steccata, Parma Pen and ink and wash, with green and orange-brown water-colour 5 1/8 x 3 3/8 (130 x 86) 4898 Verso Rough sketches of a male figure kneeling, a female figure in profile, an animal, a human leg Inscribed in ink in an old hand: ‘franciscus mausolus’ Pen and ink PROVENANCE N. Lanier (Lugt 2886); Sir P. Lely (Lugt 2092); J. Richardson, Sr (Lugt 2183); Sir T. Lawrence (Lugt 2445); Rev Dr H. Wellesley (sale, Sotheby, 30 June 1866, lot 1037, bought by J.C. Robinson for the Museum) LITERATURE Freedberg, p.195; Popham, Parmigianino, 1953, p.36; the same, Parmese drawings in the BM, pp.78-9; the same, Parmigianino, 1971, p.111, no. 270; pl. 325 Parmigianino was working on S. Maria della Steccata, Parma, between 1531 and 1539. One of his tasks there was to fresco the barrel vault of the east transept and the soffits of the two arches that support it. The recto of our drawing is a design for the caissons that Parmigianino thought at one time of painting in the soffits of the arches. They are elongated octonals, each framing an oval medallion that contains a human figure. Similar caissons are to be found on the recto of a drawing in the British Museum (Freedberg, p. 195 and pl. 104; Popham, Parmigianino, 1953, p. 63; pl. 51; Popham, Parmese drawings in the BM, no. 126; pl. 103; Popham, Parmigianino, 1971, no. 229 recto; pl. 314). The drawing helps to explain ours because it shows where the caisoons were intended to go, which is not clear from our more fragmentary design. In the end Parmigianino did not carry out the idea of painting caissons on the soffits of the arches. As executed, the main part of the decoration consists of the four large figures of Moses and Aaron, and Adam and Eve, set in oval niches, resting on the abutment of the arches. The verso of the drawing is sketchy and confused, but the presence of an animal rsembling a lion suggests a connection with a composition of Daniel in the lions' den that, in Popham's view, was probably intended to fill one of the caissons on the soffits of the two arches. Popham lists the other drawings connected with this composition (Parmese drawings in the BM, p. 78; Parmigianino, 1971, p. 101).
Collection
Accession Number
4898

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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