Bartolomeo Ramenghi

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Bartolomeo Ramenghi
1484-1542
Seated Prophet on a Cloud, Holding a Tablet, with Two Putti at his Shoulder
Pen and brown ink and wash,with white opaque watercolor, over black chalk, on blue paper.
8 15/16 x 7 1/8 inches (227 x 181 mm)
Gift of János Scholz.
1992.151
Inscription: 
Inscribed at lower edge, center, in pen and brown ink: "del Bagnacavalo"; on verso of lining, at upper right, in pen and black ink: "026".
Provenance: 
Hans M. Calmann (1899-1982), London, from whom purchased in London in 1963 by János Scholz (1903-1993), New York (see Lugt Suppl. 2933b).
Description: 

The small nucleus of drawings by Bagnacavallo includes characteristic examples at the Louvre, Uffizi, and the Biblioteca Reale in Turin. These exhibit generous white heightening, brown washes and calligraphic, elegant lines, and are quite close in style to the draftsmanship of Biagio Pupini. Bagnacavallo’s received his first commission in 1511 with Pupini for frescoes in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, Faenza, and he continued to collaborate with Pupini throughout his career. There is no reason to doubt the traditional attribution inscribed on the Morgan Library sheet, given that the study of a Triumphal Procession in Turin and of a Holy Family with Male Saint in the Louvre are particularly close in style (Biblioteca Reale, inv. 15783 36B; Bertini 1958, 17, no. 36, inv. 8890).

No painted figure corresponding to the drawing is known, though the artist frescoed two similar figures of prophets or evangelists each accompanied by a putto in the first chapel on the left in San Michele in Bosco, Bologna, in around 1530 (Bernadini 1990, 126, no. 2.9a and b). The chapel decorations were already largely lost by the time Vasari recorded that there were only two figures, yet there must originally have been several more. Bagnacavallo is known also to have painted a series of frescoes of the four Church doctors and the four Evangelists on the vault of the church of the Madonna di Strada Maggiore, Bologna (no longer extant) (Malvasia 1686, ed. Emiliani 1969, 238, 347/21; Bernardini, 1990, 141). A drawing of a seated prophet, turned to the left, holding a tablet and accompanied by two putti in the Musée Bonnat, Besançon, surely is also by Bagnacavallo and for the same project as the Scholz study (inv. RF 50886 Petithory 46; brush and brown ink, heightened with white gouchae, on paper washed brown; 295 x 222mm; no. du cliché 94CN 758 Reunion). The drawing, formerly in the collection of Michal Gaud was exhibited in the Kunsthaus, Zurich, in 1967 (Bremen and Zurich 1967, no. 67) and was sold at Sotheby’s, Monaco, 20 June 1987, lot 45, as by Pupini.

Notes: 

Watermark: none visible through lining.
Acquired as Bartolomeo Ramenghi Il Vecchio, called Bagnacavallo.

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