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  • "S. Ricci"
    Type: inscription
    Location: verso
    Materials: graphite
  • 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)
  • Sebastiano and Marco Ricci in America
    • Brooks Memorial Art Gallery. ( 12/19/1965 - 1/23/1966)
    • University of Kentucky Art Gallery. ( 2/13/1966 - 3/6/1966)
  • Drawing on Basics
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 10/14/1993 - 12/19/1993)
  • The Bible and Its Interpreters
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 11/8/2004 - 12/23/2004)
  • Old Master Drawings from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art
    • Timken Museum of Art. ( 5/13/2005 - 8/14/2005)
  • Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 5/3/2017 - 9/3/2017)
Type: catalogue
Author: Henry Johnson
Document Title: Catalogue of the Bowdoin College Art Collections
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: no. 75
Remarks: (as Ricci)
Section Title: Pt. I, The Bowdoin Drawings
Date: 1885

Author: F. J. Mather, Jr.
Document Title: Art in America, vol. I, no. 4
Location: p. 248, repr. 247
Reference: fig. 16
Section Title: Drawings by Old Masters at Bowdoin College
Date: 1913

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. 48
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Section Title: Descriptive Catalogue of the . . .
Date: 1930

Author: [H. C. Siber]
Document Title: Connoisseur, vol. 120, no. 506
Location: p. 119
Reference: repr. p. 117, fig. IV
Section Title: James Bowdoin and His Collection of Drawings . . .
Date: 1947

Type: exhibition catalogue
Author: Michael Milkovich
Document Title: Sebastiano and Marco Ricci in America
Publ. Place: Lexington, Kentucky
Location: p. 16
Reference: no. 20
Publisher: University of Kentucky
Date: 1966

Author: J. Daniels
Document Title: Sebastiano Ricci
Publ. Place: Hove, (England?)
Location: p. 14
Reference: under no. 41
Date: 1976

Author: J. Daniels
Document Title: L'Opera completa di Sebastiano Ricci
Publ. Place: Milan
Location: p. 125
Reference: under no. 414
Date: 1976

Type: exhibition catalogue
Author: David P. Becker
Document Title: Old Master Drawings at Bowdoin College
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Location: pp. 156-157
Reference: no. 73 (illus.)
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Date: 1985

This drawing came to the BCMA with an attribution to Ricci and was singled out in early publications of the collection. Frank Jewett Mather, Jr. published the sheet in 1913, arguing that it was essentially a "rearrangement" of Tintoretto's Susannah and the Elders in the Louvre, which reflects his assessment of Ricci as an artist (Mather, 248). At the same time, he labeled the Bowdoin sheet’s subject as Susannah at her bath (before she was accosted by the elders), but the presence of the tiny figure of David on the terrace in the right background establishes the subject as Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:3-17), as recognized by Richard West in a letter in the BCMA files.

Jeffery Daniels has connected the Bowdoin study with two painted versions of the subject by Ricci, particularly the one in Berlin's Dahlem Museum, which he dates around 1724, in which the pose of Bathsheba is quite similar (Daniels, 14). Annalisa Scarpa loosely connects the Bowdoin drawing to the Berlin painting (fig. 1) in her recent catalogue raisonné of Ricci’s oeuvre (Scarpa 2006, 156), arguing that the sketchy and free nature of the drawing makes it more likely to be a preliminary idea designed for reworking rather than a finished preparatory study. The Berlin painting does not include the figure of David, but he does appear in the other version (fig. 2), of which there are two copies, one in Budapest and the other in the Coin Collection, Venice. The rapid flourishes and strong contrasts of the Bowdoin drawing are common in Ricci’s drawings, such as the Christ Before Herod in the Morgan Library (fig. 3)

David P. Becker (edited by Sarah Cantor)


Daniels, Jeffery. Sebastiano Ricci. Hove: Wayland, 1976.

Mather, Jr., Frank Jewett. “Drawings by Old Masters at Bowdoin College,” Art in America 1, no. 1 (January 1913): 244-253.

Scarpa, Annalisa. Sebastiano Ricci. Milan: Bruno Alfieri Editore, 2006.


Fig. 1: Sebastiano Ricci Bathsheba, ca. 1725, oil on canvas, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Fig. 2: Sebastiano Ricci Bathsheba, 1724, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, 57.9

Fig. 3: Sebastiano Ricci Christ Before Herod, late 17th century, pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over black chalk on paper, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 1987.37

Further Reading:

Martineau, Jane, and Andrew Robison. The Glory of Venice: Art in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.

Pavanello, Giuseppe. Sebastiano Ricci: il trionfo dell'invenzione nel Settecento veneziano. Venice: Marsilio, 2010

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).