Inscribed in black ink in an old hand, at lower left corner, Di Carlo Bolognini Bolognese; on verso, in graphite, at lower center, 18813, at lower right margin, partially cut off, 18813.
Watermark: Crown surmounted by six-pointed star, centered on chain line.
After training with Mauro Aldrovandini and Giulio Trogli, called Paradosso, in Bologna, Bolognini was active in Vienna and Cremona. It is not clear if he was related to the Bolognini family of artists working in Bologna during the late seventeenth century. He is particularly known for his paintings of perspectival architectural prospects and for frescoes in San Sigismondo in Cremona. Bolognini's activities as a draughtsman remain completely unknown.
At the center of a lively and carefully orchestrated composition stands St. Catherine of Alexandria, kneeling on a broken wheel, the instrument of her martyrdom. She turns her eyes upward toward a sword-wielding angel descending to bestow upon her the martyr's palm. The powerfully built executioners fall backward in reaction to this heavenly vision. In this highly finished drawing, Bolognini uses red chalk to achieve a variety of textures ranging from quickly rendered outlines and softly modeled musculature to feathery ethereal clouds. This unusual work is the first drawing by Carlo Bolognini to enter the collection and presents a significant contribution to the Morgan's Bolognese drawings from the late seventeenth century.
Gordon, Margot, former owner.
Gordon, C. Leonard, former owner.