Lot 240
  • 240

Bernardino Barbatelli, called Il Poccetti

4,000 - 6,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Bernardino Barbatelli, called Il Poccetti
  • Design for a large historiated initial ‘D’ for a manuscript choir book, enclosing the scene of Pentecost, and some separate studies for the heads of the Apostles
  • Black chalk heightened with white chalk, on blue paper


Sale, Christie's, 12 December 1985, lot 198, purchased by Ralph Holland

Catalogue Note

This is a very rare example of a preparatory study for an historiated initial of a manuscript choir book, probably intended to open 'Dum complerentur dies pentecostes …,' the first antiphon for Lauds on Pentecost Sunday.  It is fascinating to notice that the very attractive figure of the Apostle to the right in the foreground is identical to the figure used by Poccetti in a drawing, formerly in the Skippe collection, now in the Fondation Custodia, Paris.1  That study, Four men seated at a table, was identified by A.E. Popham, in the Skippe catalogue, as preparatory for the Apostles in Poccetti's fresco of The Last Supper, in the atrium leading to the Oratorio of San Pietro Martire, Florence.  This is not the only instance in which Poccetti seems to have reused some of his most successful figures.2

1.  Inv. no. 7224; J. Byam Shaw, The Italian Drawings of the Frits Lugt Colllection, Paris 1983, vol. I, p. 45, no. 38, reproduced vol. II, pl. 49
2.  Ibid., vol. I, p. 45