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No marks or inscriptions identified for this object
    • 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)
    • Baroque Drawings
      • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 2/3/1981 - 3/5/1981)
    • The Bible and Its Interpreters
      • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 11/8/2004 - 12/23/2004)
    Type: catalogue
    Author: Henry Johnson
    Document Title: Catalogue of the Bowdoin College of Art Collections
    Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
    Reference: no. 89
    Remarks: (as Unknown)
    Section Title: Pt. I, The Bowdoin Drawings
    Date: 1885
    Type: catalogue
    Author: Bowdoin College Museum of Art
    Document Title: Bowdoin Museum of Fine Arts, Walker Art Building
    Edition: 4th
    Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
    Reference: no. 89
    Remarks: (as Unknown)
    Publisher: Bowdoin College
    Section Title: Descriptive Catalogue of the . . .
    Date: 1930
    Type: exhibition catalogue
    Author: David P. Becker
    Document Title: Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
    Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
    Location: p. 206
    Reference: no. 105 (illus.)
    Publisher: Bowdoin College
    Date: 1985

    Tentatively associated with Poccetti by Frank Jewett Mather, Jr., this drawing was firmly identified by Walter Vitzthum as a study for one of Poccetti's later commissions. From 1604 to 1612, he painted fourteen lunettes in the Chiostro Grande (or large cloister, also called Chiostro dei Morti because of the tomb slabs located in the pavement) in the church of Santissima Annunziata in Florence (fig. 1), depicting incidents from the history of the resident Servite Order. This sketch is a detail study for the figures at the far right of the lunette showing the founding of the order in 1233 (fig. 2). The scene depicts the founders gathered in church on the feast day of the Assumption of the Virgin as bystanders watch from the foreground. The curved edge of the lunette format can be seen to the right of the woman's head and behind the child. Vitzthum dated the related fresco to circa 1604-1606 (Vitzthum, 38). Paul Hamilton has compiled the most complete list of the preparatory drawings for this cycle in his 1980 catalogue on the artist’s drawings in the Gabinetto disegni e stampe in the Uffizi (Hamilton, 78-82).

    L.C.J. Frerichs identified an early study by Poccetti (fig. 3) for the same woman in the Bowdoin drawing in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (Frerichs, 35). It is a large figure study, possibly from life, with the woman's pose not yet completely resolved. Another drawing, a pen and ink compositional sketch for the entire lunette, is in the Fitzwilliam Museum (fig. 4). The Bowdoin sketch is probably a final preparatory study, as the attitudes of the woman and child are just as in the fresco, having been changed from the earlier Fitzwilliam sketch. The lightly indicated figures to the left of the woman in the Bowdoin drawing are not present in the fresco, and the head of the man also visible here at the left is turned out toward the viewer. The technique of two colors of chalk employed in the Bowdoin sheet was employed by Poccetti throughout his career.

    The collector’s stamp on the bottom right corner of the recto indicates that the drawing was in the collection of Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), a Dutch artist active in England who amassed an extensive corpus of old master drawings. His collection was dispersed in several sales soon after his death, and this sheet could have been purchased either by John Smibert before leaving for America or by James Bowdoin III during one of his multiple trips to London.

    David P. Becker (edited by Sarah Cantor)


    Hamilton, Paul. Disegni di Bernardino Poccetti. Florence: L.S. Olschki, 1980.

    Vitzthum, Walter. A Selection of Italian Drawings from North American Collections. Regina, Canada: Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1970.


    Fig. 1: Chiostro Grande, Santissima Annunziata, Florence,_chiostro_grande_1.JPG

    Fig. 2: Bernardino Poccetti Beginning of the Servite Order in the Compagnia dei Laudesi in 1233, ca. 1604-06, fresco, north portico, Chiostro Grande, Santissima Annuziata, Florence,_chiostro_grande,_n06_bernardino_poccetti,_nascita_del_nuovo_ordine_della_compagnia_dei_laudesi.JPG (NOTE: Better image that could be scanned is in Gauvin Alexander Bailey, “Catholic Reform and Bernardino Poccetti’s Chiostro dei Morti at the Church of SS Annunziata in Florence,” Apollo 158, no. 499 (Sept 2003): 23-31, fig. 2)

    Fig. 3: Bernardino Poccetti Study of a Standing Woman, ca. 1604, red chalk, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, RP-T-1956-122(R),3

    Fig. 4: Bernardino Poccetti Design for a Lunette in the Church of SS. Annunziata, Florence, ca. 1604, pen and brown ink with light grey-brown wash and traces of blue wash over traces of red chalk, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, PD.15-1980

    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).