Italian School

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Italian School
16th century
A Knight Receiving a Mandate from a Doge and Taking his Leave from his Wife (?)
mid (?)
Pen and brown ink and wash, watercolor over black chalk, on paper; composition delimited by the artist, at left and upper edges, in pen and brown ink.
9 3/16 x 6 1/4 inches (233 x 159 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
IV, 71c
Inscription: 

Inscribed on verso in graphite, "2227."
Watermark: Crossed arrows with six-pointed star above (cf. Briquet 6296).

Provenance: 
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.
Description: 

The drawing consists of two consecutive narrative scenes: above a knight kneels before a Doge seated under a dais in a palatial interior, possibly before setting out on a mission such as a crusade; below he is shown taking his leave from a lady, probably his wife, or greeting her upon his return.

The dress and style of the figures accord well with the art of the Venetian terrafirma during the sixteenth century, though it is possible that the drawing was created much later and is intentionally archaic. The discrepancies in size between the figures suggest that it may be a later pastiche of earlier models.

The influence of the Venetian school and of Girolamo Romanino (ca. 1484-ca. 1560) and Marcello Fogolino (ca. 1483/1488-after 1548) is apparent; the drawing was acquired as by an anonymous artist from Verona. The drawing may be related to book illustration or a print. It has not been possible to identify the coat of arms on the tower which includes an eagle – the German imperial arms depicted for instance at Trento consist of the double-headed eagle.

Notes: 

Acquired as Italian school, Verona.

Watermark: 
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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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