Inscribed at lower right in pen and black ink, "Cav e Conca".
Sebastiano Conca was one of the most celebrated artists in Rome during the first half of the eighteenth century. His style, as evidenced in this drawing, was a mediation between the late Baroque and the more classical manner of his contemporaries such as Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) and Carlo Maratti (1625-1713). After arriving in Rome in 1706 or 1707, Conca received many commissions for frescos and altar-pieces for both public and private interiors. The distinct scalloped and horizontal format framing of this drawing suggests that it was a preparatory study for an overdoor painting, possibly for a private chapel. The drawing depicts a Holy Family with the Virgin holding Christ, Joseph standing behind them, and the Infant St. John the Baptist kneeling at the bottom right. An unidentified female saint kneels before Christ, and she signals to a male saint in the left foreground who holds a flowering staff. God the Father, with a triangular halo symbolizing the Holy Trinity, floats above the group. The subject, Holy Family with Saints, was common in Conca's repertoire (Sebastiano Conca (1680-1764): Gaeta, Palazzo De Vio. Luglio-Ottobre 1981. Gaeta, 1981, no. 16, p. 122); though this drawing has not yet been linked with a known project.
McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.