Niccolò Martinelli, called Trometta
(Pesaro ca. 1540–1611 Rome)
St. Matthew, Seated, with an Angel, and Two Small Sketches for the Same Figure
Inscribed at lower right, in graphite, Farinat[i]; at lower center, in black chalk, 16.
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white gouache, on gray-brown paper; squared in red chalk; two small sketches in pen and black ink
16 x 10 3/8 inches (405 x 264 mm)
Purchased as the gift of the Fellows, 1962
Upon moving to Rome in the 1560s, Trometta encountered the art of Taddeo Zuccaro and soon became one of his followers. This is one of a series of studies by Trometta for frescoes in the choir of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome, painted from 1566 to 1568 and considered the artist's masterpiece. The Aracoeli vault consists of a central oval depicting the Virgin and Child with Angels set between large rectangular compartments with four frescoes of the evangelists filling the corners. This drawing depicts St. Matthew at work on his Gospel, apparently receiving advice from the angel (his attribute) hovering at his shoulder.