Lot 18
  • 18

Cherubino Alberti

25,000 - 35,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Cherubino Alberti
  • Two prisoners
  • Red and black chalk


Edmund Pillsbury;
sale, New York, Sotheby's, 13 January, 1989, lot 79 (as Cherubino or Giovanni Alberti)

Catalogue Note

This handsome and rare preparatory study, in black and red chalk, is for two figures of prisoners in the fresco by Cherubino Alberti depicting the Triumph of Pompey, part of the decoration of Palazzo Ruggieri-Serafini, Rome (fig. 1).  The drawing corresponds reasonably closely to the figures in the painting, although there they are seen in reverse, and the second prisoner is not quite as prominently visible as he is in the drawing.  

The decoration of the Palazzo Ruggieri dates from 1591, as is clear from the inscription in Roman numerals, MCLXXXXI, that is to be found in the Palazzo's Salone.  Inscriptions below the principal frescoes also identify that the scheme depicts scenes from the life of Pompey, full name Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (106 BC - 48 BC), one of the leading military and political leaders of the late Roman republic.  The paintings were executed principally by Giovanni and Cherubino Alberti, and also by Cristofano Roncalli, whose contribution to this commission is confirmed by the existence of a modello in the Uffizi for one of the frescoes, Pompey's Departure for the War.1

Another study by Cherubino Alberti for a scene in the vault of the loggia of the Palace, representing Pompey before the Censors, is in the British Museum.2  As Gere and Pouncey noted, that drawing bears a contemporary attribution to the artist: carobino Alberti dal borgo Sto Sepcro.

1. Florence, Uffizi, inv. no. A.F.S. 30314; Disegni dei Toscani a Roma (1580-1620), exhib. cat., Florence, Uffizi, 1979, p. 31, no. 11, reproduced fig. 9

2. London, British Museum, inv. no. 1965-12-3-1; J.A. Gere and Philip Pouncey, Artists working in Rome c.1550 to c. 1640, London 1983, vol. I, p. 22, n. 10, reproduced vol. II, pl. 6