Italian School

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Italian School
15th century
Standing Youth Holding a Sling
Pen and brown ink and wash, opaque white watercolor, over black chalk, on blue paper altered to green-gray; framing lines in pen and brown ink.
9 1/4 x 4 3/16 inches (235 x 107 mm)
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan in 1910.
I, 6a

Inscribed on verso of lining, at top, in graphite, "Domenico del Ghirlandajo / at center, in graphite, "Die letzten Nachfolger / Andrea del Sarto's"; at bottom, in graphite, "H.G. Gutekunst Stuttgart / Linz(? or März?) 1887(?) / [...]"; "1634"; in black chalk, "320".

Professor August Grahl (1791-1868), Dresden (Lugt 1199); his sale, London, Sotheby's, 27 April 1885, lot 135 as Domenico Ghirlandaio, "Young Man carrying a sling, study for a David, pen, washed and heightened with white, on greenish paper h. 0,235; w. 0,110"; bought by Joseph Meder (1857-1934), Vienna, for £33.0.0; Freiherr Adelbert von Lanna (1836-1909), Prague (Lugt 2773); his sale, H.G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 6-11 May 1910, no. 192 as Ghirlandaio, bought for 10,000 marks by Morgan); J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see L. 1509); J.P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

The drawing bears an ascription to Domenico Ghirlandaio and, in much of the published literature, has been assigned to an unidentified Florentine draftsman working in the second half of the fifteenth century. However, some scholars have perceived a later hand in the drawing’s style. The early commentator Georg Gronau believed the study to be a somewhat later copy after an earlier prototype, whereas Giulia Sinibaldi suggested that retouching around the hair and eyes explained the appearance of later penwork (unpublished opinion recorded in the departmental file, 1960).1


  1. Gronau 1930, 60.

Selected references: Gronau 1930, 60; San Francisco 1940a, no. 58 (as Florentine School, fifteenth century); San Francisco 1940b, no. 457 (as Florentine School, fifteenth century); Worcester 1951, no. 42 (as Florentine, fifteenth century); Byam Shaw 1976, 1: 33, under no. 6; Herald 1981, 4, 53 (as Domenico Ghirlandaio).
Drawings from the J. Pierpont Morgan Collection, Lent for Exhibition by Mr. John Pierpont Morgan. New York : New York Public Library, 1919, p.
Italian Exhibition, exh., Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 1 December 1936 - 31 March 1937.


Watermark: none visible through lining.

Associated names: 

Anonymous, Italian School, 16th cent., Alternate attribution.
Ghirlandaio, Davide, 1452-1525, Formerly attributed to.
Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 1449-1494, Formerly attributed to.
Grahl, August, 1791-1868, former owner.
Meder, Joseph, 1857-1934, former owner.
Lanna, Adalbert Franz Josef, Freiherr von, 1836-1909, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.
Morgan, J. P. (John Pierpont), 1867-1943, former owner.

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