Attributed to Jacques Stella

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Attributed to Jacques Stella
1596-1657
The Entombment
ca. 1620-1640
Red chalk, red chalk wash, brown wash on laid paper.
17 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches (438 x 337 mm)
Purchased as the gift of the Fellows.
1961.25

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Inscription: 

Signed on verso at left in red chalk, "Stella delini..."; on verso, at lower center, in pen in later hand, "Stella delineavit" (probably by the artist's niece Claudine Bouzonnet Stella according to Gail Davidson); in pen, at right corner, "6 s 7v".
Watermark: none.

Provenance: 
Jonathan Richardson, Jr. (1694-1771), London (no mark; see Lugt 2170); John Thane (1748-1818), London (Lugt 2393); P & D Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London.
Bibliography: 

Adams, Frederick B., Jr., comp. Eleventh Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1961. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1961, p. 83.
Pierpont Morgan Library. Review of Acquisitions, 1949-1968. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1969, p. 171.
Denison, Cara D. French Drawings, 1550-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, no. 18.

Notes: 

This scene of the Entombment is heavily indebted to Rubens' ca. 1614 version of the subject in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, which itself is indebted to Caravaggio's Entombment of ca. 1602 in the Vatican Pinacoteca. Here, St. John and St. Joseph of Arimathaea support the body of Christ accompanied by the Virgin and other mourners on the right and Mary Magdalene, her hands wrung in sorrow, at left.
The sheet is inscribed on the verso in red chalk “Stella delineavit” which is repeated a second time in ink at the bottom of the sheet. The ink inscription is likely by Stella's niece, Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella, who studied with Stella and managed his workshop after his death. Presumably the red chalk inscription is Stella's signature and is contemporary with the drawing. The use of extensive red chalk wash is unusual, as is the large scale of the sheet, which might account for some of the uneven passages of shading.
Sylvain Laveissiere has raised the question whether this sheet, plausibly by Stella or a member of his family, represents an invention (an original composition, even if heavily indebted to Rubens), or a copy after an unidentified work.

Associated names: 

Richardson, Jonathan, 1694-1771, former owner.
Thane, John, 1748-1818, former owner.

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