Francisco de Herrera

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Francisco de Herrera
Design for a Processional Sculpture of The Vision of St. John on Patmos, with Five Variant Plans. Verso: Sketches of a Seated Male Nude, Ornament Designs, and a Seated Figure
ca. 1660-1671
Pen and brown ink and wash, over black chalk, on laid paper; verso: pen and brown ink.
10 3/4 x 7 13/16 inches (273 x 198 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Walter C. Baker.

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Inscribed in pen and brown ink in the plan at lower left, "D[on] de herrera"; in faint black chalk at upper left above figure, "herrera".

Hans M. Calmann, London.

Pierpont Morgan Library. Review of Acquisitions, 1949-1968. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1969, p. 149.
Adams, Frederick B., Jr., comp. Eleventh Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1961. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1961, p. 89-91.
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. München : Hirmer, 2008, no. 37, repr. [Kurt Zetiler]


This energetic drawing seems to represent a plan for a processional float. Surrounded by clouds and flanked by an eagle, St. John the Evangelist ascends from an ornate basin to confront his vision of the Apocalyptic Virgin: clothed by the sun, standing on the moon, and crushing a multiheaded dragon. While in Rome, Herrera would have encountered Gianlorenzo Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa, the Baroque dynamism of which may have inspired this design for an ephemeral sculpture. At the bottom of the sheet there are five small schematic plans of the sculpture's pedestal, with the artist's signature in the lower left cartouche. --Exhibition Label, from "Visions and Nightmares: Four Centuries of Spanish Drawings"

Associated names: 

Baker, Walter C., donor.
Calmann, Hans M., 1899-1982, former owner.

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