Lorenzo de Ferrari

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Lorenzo de Ferrari
Apparition of Saint Jerome to a Pilgrim Saint
Black chalk, outlines incised for transfer, on wove paper.
21 1/8 x 15 5/16 inches (537 x 388 mm)
Purchased on the Herbert J. Seligman Charitable Fund.

A practitioner of the baroque grand manner in Genoa, Lorenzo de Ferrari was the son of the Genoese painter and draftsman Gregorio de Ferrari and grandson of Domenico Piola, and a member of the Casa Piola--the populous family studio famed for its glorious ceiling decorations and large, theatrical canvases. A trip to Rome in 1734 allowed him to absorb influences from Domenichino, Sebastiano Conca, and other masters of the Roman baroque, although most of his career was spent working in his native Genoa.
This drawing is striking for its exceptionally large scale and fully worked up composition. The softly modeled black chalk is typical of the artist's draftsmanship. Fully articulated forms-the draperies of the supine Saint Roch; the cloud-borne St. Jerome-are combined with more loose passages such as the angels around the two saints and the sketchily rendered background. The incised contours suggest that the sheet was a model for a print or a painting, although no corresponding composition was known until the recent discovery of an oil of the same scale and nearly identical composition, erroneously ascribed to Domenichino, in the Musée de la civilization, Québec (inv. no. 1991.536) for which the Morgan drawing was certainly a modello. Traces of red chalk on the verso suggest that it was laid over a chalked sheet and incised, the contours thereby transferred to the surface to be painted.

Marty de Cambiaire.
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