Gianlorenzo Bernini

Download image: 
Gianlorenzo Bernini
Portrait of Cardinal Borghese
ca. 1632
Red chalk, over graphite, on laid paper.
9 15/16 x 7 1/4 inches (253 x 184 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
IV, 176

Download verso image: 

Possibly a study for the marble in the Borghese Gallery.
Unlike Bernini's more finished portrait drawings, which were independent works in their own right, this sketch was preparatory for a marble bust of Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1576-1633). The cardinal's animated expression bears witness to Bernini's preference that his sitters move and speak rather than pose stiffly. Bernini seems to have been particularly interested in exploring the silhouette of the profile, carefully following the outline of the sitter's forehead and nose. -- Exhibition Label, from "Life Lines: Portrait Drawings from Dürer to Picasso."


On verso of lining in pencil, in a modern hand, at upper left corner, "Lot 223-8-/265", in pen and brown ink in the hand of ?Richardson Sr., "Card. Scipio Borghese Nephew of P. Paul V / The Bust is in the Villa Borghese made when / Bernini was very young, but is nevertheless much / esteemed" // "lo stesso Bernini, che un giorno vi fu col Card. Antonio Barberino, dopo qua /...vederle proruppe in qte parole: Oh quanto poco profitto à fatto io nell'arte della sco.../ ingo corso di anni, mentre io conosco, che fa fanciullo maneggiano il marino in questo mo.../ Baldinucci nella sua Vi..."; Translation in pencil, in hand of C. Fairfax Murray; in pen and brown ink at lower right, "the 12th night, Lot 41" (note from ?Lawrence sale).

Jonathan Richardson, Sr. (Lugt 2184); Sir Thomas Lawrence (Lugt 2445); Hope sale, London, Sotheby's, 20 June 1891, lot. 185; 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 Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.
Associated names: 

Richardson, Jonathan, 1665-1745, former owner.
Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, 1769-1830, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.


Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : drawings by the old masters formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, IV, 176, repr.
Heinrich Brauer and Rudolf Wittkower, Die Zeichnungen des Gianlorenzo Bernini. Berlin, 1931, pp. 29, 30, 156, pl. II.
R. Wittkower, Gian Lorenzo Bernini: The Sculptor of the Roman Baroque. London, 1955, pp. 15, 195, pl. 52.
Howard Hibbard, Bernini. Harmondsworth, 1965, p. 93, pl. 46.
George C. Bauer, ed., Bernini in perspective. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1976, fig. 15.
Ann Sutherland Harris, ed., Selected Drawings of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. New York, 1977, pl. 28.
Colin Eisler, Sculptors' Drawings over Six Centuries. New York, 1981, fig. 15.
Irving Lavin, Drawings by Gianlorenzo Bernini. Princeton, 1981, pp. 30, 294, repr.
Valentino Martinelli, Bernini Diesgni. Florence, 1981, p. 11, pl. XI.
Richard Frazier, "Bernini: His Drawings," National Sculpture Review (Fall 1982), p. 21, fig. 3.
Aidan Weston-Lewis, ed., Effigies and ecstasies: Roman baroque sculpture and design in the age of Bernini. Edinburgh, 1998, p. 48, fig. 34.
Michael Hill, "Cardinal Dying: Bernini's Bust of Scipione Borghese," Australian Journal of Art 14 (1998): 9-24.
Dervaux, Isabelle. Drawing connections: Baselitz, Kelly, Penone, Rockburne, and the old masters. New York: Morgan Library & Museum, 2007, p. 31, 37 (repr.)
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. München : Hirmer, 2008, no. 25, repr. [Kurt Zeitler]

Artist page: