A Soldier Blowing a Trumpet
Back to all artworks


A Soldier Blowing a Trumpet

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

Medium Black chalk.

Dimension 10 x 12.3 cm (3⁷/₈ x 4⁷/₈ inches)

Datable to around 1597, this small drawing would seem to be a study for the trumpeter that appears in the left background of Cavaliere d'Arpino’s monumental fresco of The Battle Between the Romans, led by Tullus Hostilius, and the Veientes and the Fidenates in the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome, painted between 1597 and 1601. The fresco, which measures 10 x 14 metres, is one of Arpino’s most significant works, and a number of preparatory chalk drawings by the artist survive for various figures, heads and horses in the composition, as well as two large-scale compositional oil sketches on canvas. Other drawings by Arpino for the same fresco, executed in both red and black chalk, are today in the collections of the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, the Uffizi in Florence, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and elsewhere.

The present sheet was part of an album of miscellaneous drawings, mainly by Italian artists of the late 16th century, which appeared at auction in London in 1980, when the drawings were dispersed. Apparently compiled sometime in the 17th century, the album was made up predominantly of studies of heads, with the drawings each numbered in black ink, from 2 to 272. Although the album included single drawings by Federico Zuccaro and Jusepe de Ribera, as well as three sheets by Federico Barocci, the bulk of the drawings - some of which seem to have been cut from larger sheets of studies - were by Cavaliere d’Arpino and his circle.

Medium: Black chalk.

Dimension: 10 x 12.3 cm (3⁷/₈ x 4⁷/₈ inches)

Provenance: From an album of drawings by Cavaliere d’Arpino and other artists, probably assembled by a collector in the 17th century
Anonymous sale (‘The Property of a Gentleman’), London, Christie’s, 15 April 1980, lot 77
Giancarlo Sestieri, Rome.

Literature: Marco Simone Bolzoni, Il Cavalier Giuseppe Cesari d’Arpino: Maestro del disegno. Catalogo ragionato dell’opera grafica, Rome, 2013, p.416 (as studio of Arpino); Herwarth Röttgen, Cavalier Giuseppe Cesari D’Arpino: Die Zeichnungen / I Disegni. Vol.II: Die großen Aufträge / Le grandi commissioni 1587/93-1605, Stuttgart, 2013, pp.310-311, no.330 (where dated to 1596-1601).

Discover the Gallery

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

Old Master, 19th Century and Modern Drawings, Watercolours and Oil Sketches

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙