Pietro da Cortona is best known for his masterpiece of baroque illusionism, the ceiling of the Great Hall of the Palazzo Barberini, Rome, frescoed between 1632 and 1639. Depicting an Allegory of Divine Providence, the ceiling glorifies the Barberini family, including Pope Urban VIII. This study is preparatory for the female figure personifying Rome. An expert exploration of the figure’s foreshortened form, lit from above, it is one of the most beautiful of the studies related to the commission.
Adams, Frederick B., Jr. Fourteenth Annual Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1965 & 1966. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1967, p. 116.
Pierpont Morgan Library. Review of Acquisitions, 1949-1968. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1969, p. 139.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 22, p. 50-51.
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. München : Hirmer, 2008, no. 24, repr. [Rhoda Eitel-Porter]
Study for the figure of Rome in the ceiling fresco of the Great Hall, Palazzo Barberini, Rome.
Udny, Robert, 1722-1802, former owner.
Banks, Thomas, 1735-1805, former owner.
Forster, Lavinia Banks, Mrs., former owner.
Poynter, Edward John, Sir, bart., 1836-1919, former owner.
Harewood, Earls of, former owner.
Stern, Anne Bigelow, donor.
Stern, Carl, donor.