Painter, draftsman, etcher, actor and satiric poet, Salvator Rosa was one of the most talented, inventive and colorful artists of the seventeenth century. This spirited double-sided sheet is a fine example of his draftsmanship, exemplifying his characteristic wiry, trembling and incisive line. The recto is a study for the Raising of Lazarus, one of five religious compositions that Rosa painted in the early 1660s for the chapel of his friend Carolo de'Rossi in S. Maria in Montesanto in the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, and now in the Musée Condé, Chantilly. Although two other drawings have been connected with this composition it has recently been suggested that the Morgan drawing is in fact Rosa's sole extant preparatory study. The sketches of a soldier with a spear on the verso is a study for a battle scene-a genre in which Rosa specialized and for which he was famous in his day-once in the princely Chigi collection in Rome and now in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The Raising of Lazarus. Verso: Studies of the Head and Shoulder of a Soldier Holding a Spear
Pen and brown ink on paper.
10 7/8 x 8 inches (276 x 205 mm)
Purchased on the Charles Ryskamp Fund.
Giancarolo Baroni; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 29 January 2013, lot 93.