Thursday, November 2, 2017

One Baroque Etching with Five Sources

Jan de Bisschop
Five male figures
British Museum

"Five male figures, nude or partly nude, in different attitudes and of different scales, arranged according to De Bisschop's own ideas.  The figures are described below in the following order : top row left, top row centre, followed by the bottom row from left to right.

(a) This figure is similar to the youth in the bottom left corner of Annibale Carracci's fresco Romulus marking the boundaries of Rome in the Palazzo Magnani in Bologna, and, to a lesser extent, to Annibale's drawing of Kneeling Youth with Books in the Uffizi.

(b) This is probably a detail of the lost Deluge by Pontormo and Bronzino in the choir of the S. Lorenzo in Florence.  The inscription of Michelangelo's name might be intended for this figure, as other parts of the same fresco reproduced by De Bisschop . . . are also inscribed with his name.

(c) De Bisschop's etching is a reduced reproduction in reverse of a drawing by Annibale Carracci called Galley Slave labouring at the Oar in red chalk, inscribed 'Annibale Carracci', now in the Claude Aubry collection in Paris.

(d) Close to this figure is the inscription 'Rafael'.  In the Rutgers collection, however, De Bisschop's model was regarded as a Domenichino drawing.  Neither this, nor any intermediary drawing by De Bisschop has been traced.

(e) Van Gelder states that this is in all likelihood a detail reproduced in reverse from Pontormo's Ascension of Souls formerly on the rear wall on either side of the window in the choir of S. Lorenzo in Florence.  No intermediary drawings by De Bisschop have come to light.  The image was rotated 90º to right to fit page."

 curator's comments from the British Museum

One of numerous plates based on drawings made in Florence and Rome by Dutch artist Jan de Bisschop (1628-1671).  Many of these appeared posthumously under the title Paradigmata Graphices Variorum Artificum, intended for use as drawing models derived from the most famous Italian masters.