Attributed to Giulio Clovio

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Attributed to Giulio Clovio
Dream of Human Life ("Il Sogno")
ca. 1550-1560?
Black chalk, some stumping and some lines inscribed with stylus, on paper lined to canvas.
14 5/16 x 10 3/4 inches (364 x 272 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
IV, 7a

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Formerly attributed to Marcello Venusti, Como 1512/15-1579 Rome.


Inscribed at lower left, in pen and brown ink, "Michel Angelo"; on verso, in pen and black ink, "Michel Angelo bona Rota".
Watermark: (visible in strong raking light): Fleur-de-lis in a circle (in use around 1560-1580).

Unidentified collector's mark (coat of arms, in black ink, on verso); possibly Anton Maria Zanetti (1706-1778), Venice; possibly Abraham Hume, 2nd Baronet (1749-1838), Wormleybury, Hertfordshire; Sir James Knowles (1831-1908), London; his sale, London, Christie's, 28 May 1908, lot 222 (as Michelangelo "The Dream of Human Life -- in black chalk"; Bought by Murray for £5.0.0); 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.
Associated names: 

Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564, After.
Venusti, Marcello, approximately 1512-1579, Formerly attributed to.
Zanetti, Antonio Maria, 1706-1778, former owner.
Hume, Abraham, 1749-1838, former owner.
Knowles, James, Sir, 1831-1908, former owner.
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.


Rhoda Eitel-Porter and and John Marciari, Italian Renaissance Drawings at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 2019, no. 106.
Selected references: Tolnay 1943-60, 182, under no. 169 (as Marcello Venusti); Paoletti 1992, 428-29 (as copy after Michelangelo); Winner 1992, 24on6; Borean 2009, 31 (as attributed to Giulio Clovio); Buck 2010, 53-54 (as attributed to Alessandro Allori); Parrilla 2011, 98-99 (as Marcello Venusti); Perrig 2014, 203n593 (as Alessandro Allori); Milan 2016, 192-93 (as attributed to Giulio Clovio).
Charles de Tolnay, Michelangelo, vol. V, The Final Period: The Last Judgment, Frescoes of the Pauline Chapel, Last Pietàs, Princeton, 1960, p. 182, under no. 169 (Venusti after Michelangelo).
Alexander Perrig, Michelangelo's Drawings: The Science of Attribution, translated by Michael Joyce, new Haven and London, 1991, p. 122, note 35.
John T. Paoletti, "Michelangelo's Masks," Art Bulletin 74, no. 3, September 1992, pp. 428-29, note 13, repr. fig. 5 (after Michelangelo).
Matthias Winner, "Michelangelo's 'Il Sogno' as an Example of an Artist's Visual Reflection in His Drawings," in Craig Hugh Smyth, ed., in collaboration with Ann Gilkerson, Michelangelo Drawings (Studies in the History of Art 33), Washington, 1992, pp. 227-242, p. 240, note 6.
Stephanie Buck, "The Dream Goes on: Copies after the Sogno," in Stephanie Buck, ed., with the assistance of Tatiana Bissolati, Michelangelo's Dream, exh. cat., The Courtauld Gallery, London, 2010, pp. 53-56, 59-60, repr. fig. 39 (attributed to Alessandro Allori).

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