Bernardino Poccetti

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Bernardino Poccetti
Cavalry Battle with a Town in the Background
ca. 1579-1586
Pen and brown ink and wash, over black chalk, on laid paper; framing lines in pen and brown ink.
6 1/2 x 10 7/8 inches (164 x 277 mm)
Gift of János Scholz.

Inscribed on album page, beneath drawing, in pen and brown ink, "Del Paβigniano".

Purchased in London in 1947 by János Scholz (1903-1993), New York (no mark; see Lugt S. 2933b).

Previously given to Passignano, Philip Pouncey suggested the present attribution to Bernardino Poccetti (unpublished opinion recorded in the curatorial file, 1958). Indeed, the Morgan study is particularly close in most respects to a preparatory drawing in the Uffizi connected to Poccetti’s lunette fresco in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo Capponi, Florence, painted between 1583 and 1586.1 Though more tightly executed, the Uffizi study is similar in technique and handling to the Morgan drawing. Moreover, the two sheets share certain details. For instance, the rider at the extreme left of the Uffizi sheet is similar to the foremost figure, right of center, in the present drawing. In addition to the lunette in the Palazzo Capponi, Poccetti designed battle scenes to decorate the temporary structures erected in Florence on the occasion of the wedding of Francesco I de’ Medici and Bianca Cappello. The fleur-de-lis, used by the Medici after 1465 on the permission of the King of France and later a symbol of the city of Florence (as well as of the Farnese family), on the standard at right encourages the possibility that this drawing was for a Florentine commission.


    1. Uffizi, Florence, inv. 1572S; Florence 1980, 33, no. 12.

Selected references: Oakland and Berkeley 1961, no. 60 (as Passignano).


Watermark: none visible through lining.
Formerly attributed to Domenico Passignano, Passignano 1559-1638 Florence.

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