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  • "Maratti"
    Type: inscription
    Location: lower left
    Materials: black chalk
  • "Pietro da Petri"
    Type: inscription
    Location: verso of old mount (lost)
    Materials: pen and ink
  • 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)

Inscribed with an attribution to Maratti, the drawing was given to Pietro de’ Pietri, his pupil, on the now lost mount. David P. Becker supported the attribution to de’ Pietri, although both Konrad Oberhuber and Walter Vitzthum have suggested Francesco La Marra, an eighteenth-century Neapolitan artist who produced prints after Maratti. The work is more closely related to Maratti’s studio and 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.

Both recto and verso are copies as indicated by the lack of changes and reinforced outlines. David P. Becker has identified the youth in armor on the verso as the figure seated on the staircase at right in Giovanni Francesco Penni’s scene of the Baptism of Constantine in the Sala di Costantino in the Vatican (fig. 1). The source for the drawing on the recto has yet to be identified.

Sarah Cantor


Fig. 1: Giovanni Francesco Penni Baptism of Constantine, 1520-24, fresco, Sala di Costantino, Apostolic Palace, Vatican Source:

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).