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  • "N.9/Pp"
    Type: inscription
    Location: verso
    Materials: pen and brown ink
  • bird on hill within circle, F above
    Type: watermark
  • James Bowdoin III( Collector, Boston) - 1811.
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art( Museum, Brunswick, Maine) 1811- . Bequest
  • Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 5/17/1985 - 7/7/1985)
    • Clark Art Institute. ( 9/14/1985 - 10/27/1985)
    • University of Kansas. ( 1/19/1986 - 3/2/1986)
    • Art Gallery of Ontario. ( 5/17/1986 - 6/29/1986)

This drawing likely arrived at Bowdoin College with the attribution to Maratti. It is therefore almost certainly part of the group of drawings from the Maratti school purchased either by John Smibert soon after the Italian artist’s death or by James Bowdoin III on his Grand Tour.

Stylistically, the drawing does appear to be related to Maratti’s studio, particularly in terms of figure type and composition. The subject is certainly the three Fates, apparently preparing to cut the thread of life of the unidentified youth at the far left. One is shown spinning the thread at right, another measuring at center, and the last with scissors, ready to cut the thread, at left.

Sarah Cantor

Further Reading:

Westin, Jean K. and Robert H. Carlo Maratti and His Contemporaries: Figurative Drawings from the Roman Baroque. University Park, PA: Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, 1975.

Commentary credited to David P. Becker (or not otherwise captioned) appeared in his catalogue Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College (Brunswick: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1985).