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Galatea Accompanied by Two Tritons
ca. 1656-1657
Red chalk on laid paper toned with a light brown wash.
14 5/8 x 18 inches (371 x 457 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
IV, 168i
Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see L. 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

Marciari, John. Guercino : virtuoso draftsman. New York : Morgan Library & Museum, in association with Paul Holberton Publishing, 2019, no. 34, repr.
Turner 2008, 86; Turner 2017, 732.
Dervaux, Isabelle. Drawing connections: Baselitz, Kelly, Penone, Rockburne, and the old masters. New York: Morgan Library & Museum, 2007, p. 39, 41 (repr.)


As was first pointed out by Nicholas Turner in 1981, this drawing must be related to Guercino's 1656-57 painting of Galatea in the Residenzgalerie, Salzburg, which similarly shows Galatea in her seaborne chariot, pulled by two tritons who blow conch horns, although in a different compositional arrangement. The style of the drawing would fit that late date as well, although the unusually large format of this sheet suggests that it may have had some function beyond that of a simple preparatory sketch. Malvasia notes that the painting, along with a pendant Mars, Venus, Cupid, and Time, was commissioned by Ferdinand von Werdenberg as a gift for the Holy Roman Emperor, and one wonders whether the drawing was perhaps a gift for the patron, intended to remain with him after the canvases went to the imperial collection. The condition of the work certainly suggests that the sheet was on display for a good part of its history, and one might contrast the careful handling of the chalk here with the looser preparatory studies for the figure of Galatea in the Uffizi and the Royal Collection. -- Catalog entry: Guercino : virtuoso draftsman, Morgan Library & Museum, 2019, p. 108

Associated names: 

Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.
Morgan, J. P. (John Pierpont), 1867-1943, former owner.

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