Lot 7
  • 7

Benvenuto Tisi, called il Garofalo Ferrara 1481 - 1559

20,000 - 25,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Benvenuto Tisi, called il Garofalo
  • a bishop seated with his left hand on a book, two young men kneeling nearby and a third standing behind, in an architectural setting
  • bears old attribution in pen and ink: Polidoro
  • pen and brown ink and wash over traces of black chalk, heightened with partly oxidised white, within a niche drawn in pen and ink and oxidised white

Catalogue Note

This previously unknown study is an important addition to the corpus of Garofalo's drawings.  Although it cannot be not connected with any surviving work by the artist, it is stylistically very close to the Virgin and Child with Saints in the British Museum (inv. no. 1895-9-15-790) which Pouncey attributed to him and which is a preparatory study for the altarpiece of 1524 in San Silvestro, Ferrara.1  The use of pen is very similar and the facial types are characteristic.

Philip Pouncey, in an article on Garofalo's drawings, pointed out their rarity and the confusion in attributions of works on paper to this master, whose painted oeuvre is so well recognised and established. Pouncey wrote that Garofalo's fame as the 'Ferrarese Raphael' encouraged the attribution to him of any work which seemed Raphaelesque.  It is interesting to note that the Raphaelesque flavour of the present drawing, which is very much in keeping with the style of Garofalo, prompted an earlier collector to attribute it to one of Raphael's most individual and talented pupils, Polidoro da Caravaggio.  Very few drawings by Garofalo have come to light since Pouncey's article in 1955, therefore any new attribution is significant.

1. See Anna Maria Fioravanti Baraldi, Il Garofalo, Rimini 1993, p. 270, no. 4, reproduced

2. See Philip Pouncey, 'Drawings by Garofalo', The Burlington Magazine, XCVII, 1955, pp. 196-202