Of the two drawings listed as by Cherubino Alberti in the McCrindle collection inventory, this may have been the "pen and wash drawing by Cherubino Alberti" acquired from H. M. Calmann, London, in 1961. The drawing features a winged nude figure, possibly an angel, lifting a curtain or other drapery. Lines framing the composition seem to situate the figure in an architectural space, probably the left half of a lunette. Cherubino painted several comparable lunettes. The lunette above the altar wall of the Aldobrandini Chapel in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, for instance, is decorated with two large angels holding candelabra flanking a window (Morton C. Abromson, "Clement VIII's Patronage of the Brothers Alberti," The Art Bulletin, vol. 60, no. 3 (September 1978), p. 531-547, fig. 21). Another lunette in the same chapel depicts a large angel accompanying a sibyl (Abromson 1978, fig. 19). Although there is no exact correspondence with any figure in these decorations, the McCrindle drawing may have been created at the same moment as the Aldobrandini Chapel lunettes, ca. 1609 to 1610. The brothers Cherubino (1553-1615) and Giovanni (1558-1601) Alberti are most famous for the illusionistic fresco decoration of the Sala Clementina, Vatican Palace, Rome, created for Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini.
Winged Female Figure
Pen and brown ink, with brown and gray wash, and black chalk on laid paper.
5 1/16 x 4 3/4 inches (128 x 121 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.
Possibly H.M. Calmann, London; Joseph F. McCrindle, New York (McCrindle collection no. A0005).