Lot 103
  • 103


20,000 - 30,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Workshop of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Il Guercino
  • Roman Charity: Cimon and Pero
  • Pen and brown ink and wash, within traces of brown ink framing lines ;bears old attribution in pen and brown ink, lower left : Guercino
  • 216 by 170 mm; 8 1/2 by 10 5/8 in.


Padre Sebastiano Resta, Rome,
presented by him to Monsignor Giovanni Matteo Marchetti, Arezzo, in 1698,
by inheritance to his nephew, Cavaliere Orazio Marchetti da Pistoia,
sold in 1710 with the Resta collection of drawings to John, Lord Somers, London (L.2981, with his numbering, lower right: d.82),
probably his sale, London, Peter Motteaux, 16 May 1717;
Richard Houlditch, London,
by descent to his son, Richard Houlditch Jr., London (L.2214) and his associated numbering, lower right: 13,
probably his sale, London, Langford, 12-14 February 1760;
Private collection, London, by 1950,
thence by descent until 2013;
with Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, London,
where acquired by the present owner


N. Turner, The Paintings of Guercino, Rome 2017, p. 542, under no. 251, fig. 251.a, reproduced

Catalogue Note

This drawing relates to a painting of Cimon and Pero by Guercino, today in the Schoeppler collection, London, which was commissioned from the artist by the Marchese Bentivoglio as a gift for Monsignor Mazarin when he was Papal Nuncio in France.1 The painting is mentioned in Guercino’s account book, which records a payment of 66 scudi for the picture, received by the artist on the 23rd August 1639 with the subject specified as a 'Carità Romana'.2 The story of Cimon and Pero, more commonly known as 'Roman Charity' is recounted by the Roman historian, Valerius Maximus, in his Factorum et dictorum memorabilium libri IX, a compendium of stories of Ancient Rome, written around 30 BC. The elderly Cimon is imprisoned and left to die of starvation, but is secretly nursed by his daughter Pero, who keeps him alive by doing so.

At least four other drawings of this subject by Guercino are known, all of which may also be related to the Bentivoglio commission.3 These include a compositional study in the Bernd and Verena Klüser collection, Munich and a red chalk study previously on the New York art market, of which a retouched offset is in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.

1. Turner, op. cit., p. 542, no. 251, reproduced
2. B. Ghelfi, Il Libro dei conti del Guercino, 1629-1666, Venice 1997, pp. 98-9, no. 204
3. Turner, op. cit., p. 542, under no. 251, Drawings 1-3 and 5