Attributed to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio
- Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio
- a standing apostle
- Pen and brown ink, the corners missing
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The name of Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, first suggested by Chris Fisher as a tentative attribution for this intriguing early drawing, has been supported by a number of scholars and deserves serious consideration. Ridolfo, the son of Domenico, seems to have been trained by his uncle David Ghirlandaio following the death of his father in 1494. Considering Ridolfo's long career his corpus of drawings is very small. No significant sheets seem to have been added or published since Griswold's very interesting article in 1989.1 The present study, possibly for an apostle, owes a great deal stylistically to Domenico. When looking at the features of the face, one is struck by the empty circle indicating the right eye, the other being covered by a splash of ink. This abbreviation, among other characteristics pointed out by Griswold, is found in a number of Ridolfo's drawings,2 and shows his familiarity with his father's style. The very schematic treatment of the hair is typical of Ridolfo, as are the pen strokes. Here especially the depiction of the drapery can be closely related to that in a drawing of The Virgin Standing, Holding the Christ Child, a work that clearly shows Ridolfo's debt to Fra Bartolommeo, to whom it was attributed when it appeared on the London art market3; this influence is also much in evidence in the present sheet.
1. W.M. Griswold, 'Early Drawings by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio', Master Drawings, vol. 27, no. 2, 1989, pp. 215-222, pls. 22-30
2. See, for instance, the study in the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome, for the Translation of the Body of St. Zenobius, preparatory for Ridolfo's painting now in the Museo del Cenacolo at San Salvi, Florence; Griswold, op. cit., p. 216, reproduced fig. 1
3. Sale, London, Christie's, 12 December 1985, lot 152; reproduced Griswold, op. cit., pl. 25b