Description & Technical information

As Andrew Robison has recently noted, ‘Palma effortlessly filled sheet after sheet with pen drawings showing constantly varied presentations of primarily religious subjects...Palma’s pen drawings are reminiscent of those by Paolo Veronese. Both artists filled sheets with series of rapid studies, their hands barely keeping up with their thoughts, including different subjects on the same sheet in a sprightly pen...Appropriately for that speed, they both usually drew “alla prima”, directly with their pen on the paper, not bothering to begin with chalk or stylus underdrawing...Palma’s many drawings produced visual resources he could use or revisit for years to feed the prodigious output of paintings from his hand, and from his studio.’

Although this drawing is a fine and typical example of Palma Giovane’s spirited draughtsmanship, none of the three separate studies on the sheet can be definitively related to any surviving painting or fresco by the artist. The figure of the Virgin (or a female saint) at the top of the sheet, for example, appears in a similar pose in several works by the artist, but in each case with significant differences from the figure in the drawing.

Period:  1400-1600, 1600-1750, 16th Century, 17th century
Origin:  Italy
Medium: Pen, Brown ink
Dimensions: 22.6 x 13.7 cm (8⁷/₈ x 5³/₈ inches)
Provenance: The Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, Balcarres House, Colinsburgh, Fife
By descent to a private collection.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints