Study for Choice of Hercules, ca. 1595–97
Pen and brown ink, over red chalk
Princeton University Art Museum; Museum purchase, Fowler McCormick, Class of 1921, Fund, 2008
Mariette was among the earliest collectors to highlight the provenance of the drawings he acquired. Occasionally, as in the cartouche on this mount, he added to the artist’s name those of previous notable owners of the drawing. Here he proudly listed his name in Latin with those of the French painter Pierre Mignard (1612–1695) and the Parisian financier Pierre Crozat (1665–1740), both of whom had owned this important study. The sketch is a compositional idea for Carracci’s painting Choice of Hercules originally in the Farnese Palace in Rome.