Colnaghi Foundation Journal 02 - Page 161

MICHELANGELO / Two drawings
MICHELANGELO / Two drawings
Fig. 10 / Unidentified
draughtsman after
Michelangelo, Saint John,
ca. 1555-1560, 25.2 x
10.3 cm, Paris, Musée du
Louvre, Département des
Arts Graphiques.
Fig. 11 / Michelangelo,
Saint John, ca. 1555,
black chalk, 25 x 18.2 cm,
Paris, Musée du Louvre,
Département des Arts
Who made the new drawing? Particularly evident
in the figure of Saint John, and a little less so in the
Virgin, is a distinctive type of curvilinear hatching.
It might be by the same hand – Clovio’s – as the
copies of the isolated Christ (see figs. 8 & 9); but, in
those drawings hatching has been carefully fused by
stumping, and I do not think a common authorship
can be established with any security. However, another
drawing in the Louvre (fig. 10), a copy after a study of Saint
John by Michelangelo also in the Louvre (fig. 11), shows
hatching of the same curvilinear kind and can fairly
be claimed to be by the same hand as the Crucifixion
copy.10 In my Inventaire I tentatively suggested Clovio
as the author both of fig. 11 and the companion copy
of the Virgin (black chalk, 24.8 x 13.4 cm), the original
of which is also in the Louvre (black chalk, 23 x 10
cm), but noted that an alternative candidate might
be Marcello Venusti, whose authorship had been
sustained by Georg W. Kamp, and which is also now
favoured by Andrea Donati.11 I think that the matter
remains open: I would not insist on Clovio and Venusti
may well be the correct answer, however, among the
very few independent drawings by Venusti that can be
identified with any conviction, none offer unequivocal
support for the attribution to him of these black chalk
copy drawings after Michelangelo.
Andrew Morrogh, “‘The Palace of the Roman People’:
Michelangelo at the Palazzo dei Conservatori,”
Römisches Jahrbuch der Biblioteca Hertziana 29 (1994): pp.
129-186. The drawings are Ashmolean Museum, inv.
1846.78 and inv. 1846.79.
2. Paul Joannides, The Drawings of Michelangelo and
his Followers in the Ashmolean Museum (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 264-276,
nos. 55 and 56; Charles de Tolnay, Corpus dei disegni
di Michelangelo, 4 vols. (Novara: Istituto geografico De
Agostini, 1975-1980), IV, nos. 589 and 605.
3. Fogg Museum of Art, Cambridge, MA, inv. 1998.194,
first discussed in Joannides, Drawings of Michelangelo, pp.
4. For example his study for the statue of Victory is on the
verso of a drawing made for the Battle of Cascina some
twenty years earlier: De Tolnay, Corpus, I, no. 50.
5. Royal Collection, Windsor, inv. 12775; Arthur E.
Popham and Johannes Wilde, The Drawings of the 15th
and 16th Centuries in the Collection of His Majesty the King at
Windsor Castle (London: Phaidon Press, 1949), no. 436;
De Tolnay, Corpus, III, no. 418.
6. Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken, The Italian Drawings
of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries in the Teyler Museum
(Haarlem, Ghent, and Doornspijk: Snoeck-Ducaju
& Zoon, and Davaco, 2000), pp. 140-144, no. 67; De
Tolnay, Corpus, I, no. 50.
7. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, inv. 1846.89,
Joannides, Drawings of Michelangelo, pp. 276-280, no.
57; De Tolnay, Corpus, III, no. 415; Alessandro Nova,
“Hat Michelangelo ein Altarbild für die Cappella
Paolina geplant?” in Michelangelo als Zeichner, Akten des
Internationalen Kolloquiums Wien, Albertina-Museum, 19-20
November, 2010, eds. Claudia Echinger-Maurach, Achim
Gnann, and Joachim Poeschke (Münster: Rhema,
2013), pp. 365-391.
8. Musée du Louvre, inv. 843; Paul Joannides, Michel-Ange,
elèves, copistes (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux,
2003), pp. 234-235, no. 88; De Tolnay, Corpus, III, pp.
9. Christie’s, New York, 24 January 2006, lot 10;
Joannides, Michel-Ange, pp. 234-235, under no. 88.
10. Joannides, Michel-Ange, pp. 265-266, no. 126, and pp.
176-178, no. 40. For the other two Louvre drawings
(inv. 698 and inv. 720) see also De Tolnay, Corpus, III,
nos. 413 and 412.
11. Georg W. Kamp, Marcello Venusti, Religiose Kunst im
Umfeld Michelangelos, Deutsche Hochschule Schriften, 495
(Egelsbach: Hänsel-Hohenhausen, 1993), p. 128, nos.
44 and 45; Dr. Donati’s view was expressed to me


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