Yvonne Ffrench, by whom sold to
his sale, London, Sotheby's, 25 April 1978, lot 11, reproduced
This is a particularly strong and vigorous study, showing careful observation of the musculature of the figure in a complex pose. The recto was identified by Kristina Fiore as preparatory for the youth who supports the coat-of-arms of Pope Clement VIII Aldobrandini in the northeast corner of the ceiling of the Sala Clementina in the Vatican (fig. 1). The studies on the verso seem to be for the companion figure on the left, but his position is changed in the finished composition. A more elaborate study for the same figure is in the Ambrosiana, Milan, and bears an old attribution to Giovanni Alberti.1 Numerous other figure studies for the decoration are known, for example in the Gabinetto Nazionale delle Stampe, Rome, the Ashmolean, the Philadelphia Museum and the Metropolitan Museum.2 The frescoes were commissioned by Pope Clement from Giovanni and Cherubino Alberti in 1596, and seem to have been finished by late 1599. The section to which this drawing relates bears the date 1597.
1. G. Bora, I Disegni del Codice Resta, Bologna 1978, no. 149, reproduced
2. K. Herrmann-Fiore, Disegni degli Alberti, exhib. cat., Rome, Villa Farnesina, 1983-4, p. 62 ff., and J. Bean, 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings..., New York 1982, pp. 18-19, nos. 2 and 3, reproduced
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