Whilst the Cortonesque qualities of this sheet are undeniable, the particularly vivacious black chalk underdrawing is one of the stylistic qualities that allows us to more convincingly relate it to Ferri's manner. Interestingly the pen and brown ink inscription: Io Io Io, in the upper left corner, with its highly distinctive looping I's, is also a trait that occurs in a handful of signed drawings by Ferri. A fine example of this is a double sided sheet, from the Odescalchi notebook, today in the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome, depicting A putto and A study of a standing figure,2 which is signed: Io Ciro Ferri. Whilst the lack of his written name, on our sheet, makes this theory a somewhat hypothetical one, it does add an interesting additional dynamic to the drawing, which coupled with the accompanying attribution to Ciro Ferri on the old album page, which must date to at least the 18th Century, further strengthens the argument in favor of this artist.
We are grateful to Dr. Jörg Merz who, having examined the drawing in the original, has endorsed the attribution to Ciro Ferri.
1. G. Briganti, Pietro da Cortona o della pittura barocca, Florence 1982, p. 140, no. 156, reproduced fig. 156
2. S. Prosperi Valenti Rodinó, Pietro da Cortona e il disegno, exhib. cat., Rome, Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, 1997-98, p. 235, no. 14.42, reproduced
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