Italian School

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Italian School
16th century
Detail from Death of St. Peter Martyr (?): Soldier About to Stab a Kneeling Monk
Point of brush and brown ink and wash, over black chalk, on paper; framing lines in black chalk.
7 3/8 x 14 3/8 inches (198 x 365 mm)
Gift of János Scholz.
1993.77
Inscription: 

Inscribed in lower left corner, in pen and black ink, "ticiano / illegible (cancelled) / 36"; at lower right, in graphite, "36"; on verso, at lower center, in pen and black ink, "Titian".

Provenance: 
Probably Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), London; William Esdaile (1758-1837), London and Teddington, Middlesex (Lugt 2617); probably his sale, London, Christie's, 30 June 1840, lot 91, as Titian "The death of Peter Martyr; an elaborate and beautiful drawing in Indian ink"; bought by James Stuart Hodgson (1826-1899), Lythe Hill, Halsemere, Surrey, for £10.10.0; or lot 137, as Titian, "Three Figures, a sketch for the Peter Martyrdom"; bought by Samuel Woodburn, (1786-1853), London; his sale, London, Christie's, 8 June 1860, lot 961 as Titian, "The death of St. Peter Martyr-pen and bistre, tinted"; bought by Rigg (or Ripp or Riff); for £2.0.0; Walter Schatzki (1899-1983), New York, from whom purchased in 1962 by János Scholz (1903-1993), New York (see Lugt Suppl. 2933b).
Description: 

The drawing probably depicts the assassination of St. Peter Martyr, a subject made famous in Venice from its treatment by Titian in an altarpiece for SS. Giovanni e Paolo (destroyed before 1867). The old attribution on the drawing must refer to the Titian painting. Saint Peter Martyr was a Dominican friar, who in 1252 was murdered in a wood by heretics. His companion was also attacked and wounded but escaped. Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1431/1436-1516) and Bernardino da Asola (fl. 1512-1531) also treated the subject (both National Gallery, London1), though the drawing does not correspond to any of these paintings.

The drawing may well be a copy and probably dates from the late sixteenth or seventeenth century.

Footnotes:

  1. National Gallery, London, inv. NG812, NG41.
Notes: 

Watermark: none.
Acquired as Bassano school?.

Associated names: 

Bassano, Jacopo, approximately 1518-1592, School of, Formerly attributed to.
Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, 1769-1830, former owner.
Esdaile, William, 1758-1837, former owner.
Hodgson, James Stewart, 1826-1899, former owner.
Woodburn, Samuel, 1785 or 1786-1853, former owner.
Schatzki, Walter, 1899-1983, former owner.
Scholz, János, former owner.

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