Daniele Crespi

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Daniele Crespi
1597 or 1598-1630
Two Sketches of a Half-Length Figure of a Man Looking Over his Left Shoulder
ca. 1625
Pen and brown ink on paper; framing lines in graphite.
12 15/16 x 8 3/8 inches (329 x 214 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz.

Formerly attributed to Anonymous, Italian School, 16th century.
Acquired as Baccio Bandinelli, Gaiole in Chianti 1488-1560 Florence.
Janos Scholz, the drawing's former owner, considered the work as by Baccio Bandinelli, and his firm belief in the attribution prompted Roger Ward to include the sheet in his monographic study of Bandinelli's drawings, despite reservations.[1] Subsequent scholars have rejected an association with Bandinelli, though no alternative proposal has proved convincing. Catherine Monbeig-Goguel (note in file, undated) suggested Nicolò Granello and Julien Stock (note in file, 2004) agreed that the study might be Genoese in origin. On the other hand, Paul Joannides (note in file, 2003) detected Michelangelo's influence and tentatively situated the drawing in a Bolognese context, suggesting it could be an early study by Bartolomeo Passarotti.
A more likely candidate might be the Milanese Daniele Crespi, as first suggested by Ian Hicks (2021). The swiftly rendered studies feature fluid and energetically retraced contours with urgent, often continuous hatching, and are stylistically consistent with several autograph drawings by the artist. These same traits recur in a double-sided sheet in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, traditionally ascribed to Crespi.[2] The unbroken, looping parallel hatching that sharply abuts the reserve of the page recur in studies in a private collection, which has been related to Crespi's early painting of 'Salome Receiving the Head of St. John the Baptist', also in a private collection.[3] As in the abandoned study of a shoulder at upper right in the Morgan drawing, the private collection sketch features a quickly sketched bone beneath the arm's musculature. The abbreviations of forms in the Morgan figures, particularly the idiosyncratic and schematic shorthand for eyes, find striking parallels with a drawing by Crespi recently on the art market and conjecturally linked with his altarpiece of the 'Flagellation of Christ with Saint Charles Borromeo, Francis, and Maurus' painted around 1625 for Modena Cathedral.[4]
The same boisterous style, if on a smaller scale, can be found in Crespi's studies, now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, which prepared the evangelists he frescoed in 1625 in the pendentives of the Crisoloria chapel in Sant'Eustorgio, Milan.[5] Indeed, the pose sketched in the Morgan drawing is close to these Accademia figures, and it is possible the study was made in connection with the Sant'Eustorgio frescoes. However, it is difficult to place the drawing precisely, as the Morgan figures lack context, and the artist utilized the pose several times throughout his short career.
[1] Ward 1982, 328-29, no. 262.
[2] Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Cod. F 235 inf. n. 1162 bis.
[3] Ward Neilson, 85, no. D 36.
[4] Christie's, London, 2 July 2019, lot 20.
[5] Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia, inv. 681. See Ward Neilson, 84, no. D 29.


Watermark: none.

Italico Brass, Venice (according to Janos Scholz records); Janos Scholz (1903-1993), New York (see Lugt Suppl. 2933b).
Associated names: 

Anonymous, Italian School, 16th cent., Formerly attributed to.
Bandinelli, Baccio, 1493-1560, Formerly attributed to.
Brass, Italico, 1870-1943, former owner.
Scholz, János, former owner.


Selected references: Providence 1973, no. 2 (as Bandinelli); Bloomington 1958, no. 36 (as Bandinelli); Oakland and Berkeley 1961, no. 4 (as Bandinelli); Milwaukee 1964, no. 1 (as Bandinelli); Ward 1982, 328-29, no. 262 (as Bandinelli); Fellows Report 1989, p. 315-16.
Gilbert, Creighton et al. Drawings of the Italian Renaissance from the Scholz Collection. Bloomington : Indiana University Art Center, 1958, no. 36, repr. (as Bandinelli)
Drawings from Tuscany and Umbria, 1350-1700. Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, University of California Art Gallery, Berkeley. Berkeley : Gillick, 1961, no. 4. (as Bandinelli)
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 315-316.

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