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  • "5" and red chalk monogram with letter P
    Type: inscription and monogram
    Location: verso
    Materials: pen and brown ink
  • "No. 61 Il Portoguise"
    Type: inscription
    Location: verso of former 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)
Type: catalogue
Author: Henry Johnson
Document Title: Catalogue of the Bowdoin College Art Collections
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: no. 43, repr. in large paper edition
Remarks: (as "Il Portoguise")
Section Title: Pt. I, The Bowdoin Drawings
Date: 1885

Author: Rev. F. H. Allen
Document Title: The Bowdoin Collection
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Location: pt. 3
Reference: no. 3, repr.
Remarks: [five parts of four illustrations each, with individual texts]
(as "Il Portoguise")
Date: 1886

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. 43
Remarks: (as "Il Portoguise")
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Section Title: Descriptive Catalogue of the . . .
Date: 1930

Author: M. Benisovich
Document Title: Gazette des Beaux-Arts, ser. 6, vol. 45
Location: pp. 113-116
Reference: repr. fig. 2
Remarks: (as Quillard)
Section Title: "Quillard aux √Čtat-Unis -- Une D√©couverte"
Date: 1955

Author: M. Eidelberg
Document Title: Master Drawings, vol. 19, no. 1
Location: p. 29
Reference: repr. pl. 29a
Remarks: (as Vieira the Younger)
Section Title: "Quillard as Draughtsman"
Date: 1981

Type: exhibition catalogue
Author: David P. Becker
Document Title: Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Location: pp. 170-171
Reference: no. 79 (illus.)
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Date: 1985

Per David Becker 7/25/09:
Two recent references (both of which mention our drawing) are below; the Library owns Master Drawings.
Luisa Arruda, ed., Vieira Lusitano (1699-1783): O desenho [exh. cat.] (Lisbon: Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, 2000) [BCMA drawing repr. p. 86].
Nicholas Turner, "New Light on Vieira Lusitano as a Draftsman," Master Drawings, vol. 45, no. 3 (2007), pp. 367-86 [BCMA drawing discussed pp. 379-80, 386 note 37 (repr. p. 379, fig. 24).


This and another sheet in the Bowdoin bequest, BCMA 1811.38, came to the collection with identical enigmatic inscriptions to "Il Portoguise," written on the original mounts (now lost), presumably a nickname and reference to the artist's country of origin. In 1955, Michel Benisovich interpreted the inscriptions as referring to Pierre Antoine Quillard (ca. 1701-33), a French follower of Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), who settled in Portugal. Martin Eidelberg dismissed the Quillard attribution on the basis of comparison with several authentic drawings (Eidelberg 29). He then proposed ascribing both Bowdoin sheets to Francisco Vieira the Younger (1765-1805), whose nickname was "o Portuense," from his birthplace of Porto.

However, the two Bowdoin sheets in question are probably not even by the same hand, despite superficial resemblances. This drawing of Venus and Adonis has been attributed to another Portuguese painter by the name of Francisco Vieira, the Lusitano, who worked in Rome for years. Both Luísa Arruda and Nicholas Turner have confirmed the attribution and connected the sheet to Vieira’s later Roman period in the 1720s. Arruda has even suggested that the drawing is autobiographical – Vieira is represented as Adonis and his wife, who was then confined to a convent by her family, is Venus (Arruda and Seabra Carvalho, 86-87). If the drawing is indeed from the second Roman period rather than the first, it was likely purchased by James Bowdoin III rather than John Smibert, who left Italy before Vieira returned. Stylistically, the Bowdoin drawing is similar to a number of woks by Vieira Lusitano, such as Perseus Freeing Andromeda (fig. 1) from the Bibloteca Nacional de Portugal.

David P. Becker (edited by Sarah Cantor)


Arruda, Luísa and José Alberto Seabra Carvalho, eds. Vieira Lusitano 1699-1783: o desenho. Lisbon: Museo Nacional de Arte Antigua, 2000.

Eidelberg, Martin. "Quillard as Draughtsman,” Master Drawings 19, no. 1 (Spring 1981): 27-38.


Fig. 1: Francisco Vieira Lusitano Perseus Freeing Andromeda, ca. 1725, red chalk, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Lisbon

Further Reading:

Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, Simonetta. "Ancora su Francisco Vieira, portoghese 'romanizzato.'" In Arte, Collezionismo, Conservazione: Scritti in onore di Marco Chiarini, edited by Miles Chappell, Mario Di Giampaolo, and Serena Padovani, 352-56. Florence: Giunti, 2004.

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).