Attributed to El Greco

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Attributed to El Greco
Last Supper. Verso: Last Supper
ca. 1575
Brown wash, with white opaque watercolor, over black chalk, on light brown paper; verso: brush and brown wash, white opaque watercolor, over black chalk.
15 7/8 x 10 11/16 inches (401 x 274 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz.

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The large, albeit damaged, double-sided Last Supper is perhaps the greatest of the set of emotionally charged drawings that might be attributed to the young El Greco. It shares the defining characteristics of the other sheets: execution in liquid strokes of the brush, dramatic contrasts of dark pools of wash and bright white highlights, clusters of heads occasionally paired and turning to look atone another, and an intense, claustrophobic atmosphere. We see here, however, the work of a more experienced artist, and the fact that Tintoretto's 1574-75 Last Supper at San Polo was the model for the drawing suggests that it would have been made by El Greco on his return from Rome to Venice in 1575, at which time his work was invested with a greater confidence and power. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice"
Formerly attributed to Jacopo Palma, called il Giovane, Venice ca. 1548-1628 Venice.


Inscribed at lower left, mostly on painted-in part of album page, in pen and brown ink, "Tintoretto"; on album page, just beneath drawing, at center, "154"; on verso of album page at top center, in pen and brown ink, "3 (or B)"; at lower center, beneath the drawing, in pen and brown ink, "155; Tintoretto".
Watermark: Circle.

Purchased in London in 1951 by Janos Scholz (1903-1993), New York (no mark; see Lugt S. 2933b).
Associated names: 

Palma, il Giovane, 1544-1628, Formerly attributed to.
Scholz, János, former owner.


Michiaki Koshikawa. Review of John Marciari's Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice. Master Drawings, vol. 58, no. 2 (Summer 2020), p. 252, repr. (as attributed to a follower of Palma Giovane)
John Marciari, Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice, New York, 2018, no. 68, figs. 144-145, repr. (as attributed to El Greco)
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981-1983. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, p. 284.
Venetian Drawings from the Collection of János Scholz. Montgomery, Ala. : Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1976, no. 29, repr. (includes previous bibliography and exhibitions)
Scholz, Janos. Italian Master Drawings, 1350-1800, from the János Scholz Collection. New York : Dover, 1976, no. 72, repr.

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