Attributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti

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Attributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti
Annunciation to the Virgin
ca. 1545-1550
Black chalk; incised with stylus.
15 1/8 x 11 11/16 inches (383 x 297 mm)
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
IV, 7

Inscribed on the verso on the lining, in pen and brown ink: "From Mr. Lawrence-Woodburn colln / sale catalogue No. 103 / J.C. Robinson"; on verso of mount, in graphite, "Guildhall Exhibition 1895 / 215. / chalk / M.angelo / The Annunciation - A study from / the Celebrated picture by Venusti painted / from designs by M.Angelo - Collection / Charles I".
Watermark: Ladder in a circle, possibly surmounted by a star. (cf. Briquet II, similar to 5919. Pistoioa, 1519; 5923. Florence, 1513-14; 5922. Augsburg, 1506-10/ Sienna, 1495-1524; 5924. Vienna, 1538/ Fabriano, 1532; 5920. Venice, 1491/ Florence, 1492) [Check also Jane Roberts, A Dictionary of Michelangelo's watermarks, Milan, 1988].

Nicholas Lanière (1588-1666), London (Lugt 2885); Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), London; Samuel Woodburn (1786-1853), London; his sale, London, Christie's, 4 June 1860, lot 103, as Michelangelo, "Another Study for the Same Picture, More Elaborately Carried Out, and More in Conformity, in Design, with the Painting-black chalk. Superb. From the Collection of Charles I.", bought by Enson for Ł8.15.0; [Brooke] sale, London, Sotheby's, 19-20 June 1891, lot 188, as "Michaelangelo. The Annunciation, a study for the celebrated picture by Venusti, painted from the above and other drawings; from the Collection of Charles I", bought by Murray for Ł1.12.0; Sir John Charles Robinson (1824-1913), Edinburgh and London (inscription on verso of lining and also included as such in 1895 London exhibition, Catalogue of drawings by the old masters and works illustrating the art of the sculptor-goldsmith and gem engraver of the 15th and 16th centuries ... on loan at the art gallery, exh. cat., Guildhall Art Gallery, London, 1895); (furthermore all drawings in London 1895 exhibition were from his collection); his sale, Christie's, London, 13 May 1902, lot 215, "Michelangelo Buonarotti. Study for "The Annunciation" - black chalk. From the Lawrence-Woodburn Collection. Exhibited at the Guildhall, 1895", bought by Murray for L11.0.0; 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: 

Venusti, Marcello, approximately 1512-1579, Possible attribution.
Lanier, Nicholas, 1588-1666, former owner.
Lawrence, Thomas, Sir, 1769-1830, former owner.
Woodburn, Samuel, 1785 or 1786-1853 former owner.
Robinson, J. C. (John Charles), Sir, 1824-1913, 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. 105.
Selected references: Lawrence Gallery 1853, no. 2; Fairfax Murray 1905-12, 4:7; Berenson 1938, no. 1696; Wilde 1959, 377; Tolnay 1975-80, 3: no. 399; Hirst 1988, 54-55; Washington 1988, no. 55; Perrig 1991, 20, 41, 100, 115-16; Joannides 1992, 250-51, 261n26; Vienna 1997, no. IV.53; Wallace 2003, 140-45, 153; Chapman 2005, no. 90; Acidini Luchinat 2007, no. 65; Zöllner, Thoenes, and Pöpper 2007, 574; Munich 2008-9, no. 9; Ottawa 2009, no. 54; Joannides 2011, 22-23; De Ruggieri 2016, 92-93; New York 2017-18, 218-20, no. 191.
Lawrence Gallery. A Series of fac-similes of Original Drawings by M. Angelo Buonarotti, selected from the matchless collection formed by Sir Thomas Lawrence ... published by S. and A. Woodburn, London, 1853, no. 2 (Michelangelo).
Charles Fairfax Murray, Collection of Drawings by the Old Masters formed by C. Fairfax Murray (J. Pierpont Morgan Collection), 4 vols, London 1905-1912, vol. 4, no. 7, repr. (Venusti after Michelangelo).
Johannes Wilde, "Cartonetti by Michelangelo", Burlington Magazine, vol. 101, no. 680, November 1959, p. 377, fig. 1 (Michelangelo).
Michael Hirst, Michelangelo Draftsman, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1988, no. 55, repr.
William E. Wallace, "Michelangelo and Marcello Venusti: a case of multiple authorship," in Reactions to the Master. Michelangelo's Effect on Art and Artists in the Sixteenth Century, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis and Paul Joannides, Aldershot, 2003, pp. 140, 143, 145, 153, fig. 7.1.
David Franklin, ed., From Raphael to the Carracci : The Art of Papal Rome, exh. cat., National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2009, pp. 216-217, no. 54, repr.