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Bowdoin College BCMA Logo Museum of Art

  • of mount: I VILLEDARY
    Type: watermark
  • "Cosmo the 3d - Grand Duke of Tuscany, from the life, by John Smibert"
    Type: inscription
    Location: old mount, below
    Materials: pen and brown 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)

The traditional inscription on the mount of this sheet has occasioned much comment as to this drawing's subject and artist. Although it was accepted as Smibert's own work for years, scholars such as Sir Robert Witt, Frits Lugt, and Agnes Mongan dismissed the attribution and generally placed the drawing in Italy in the seventeenth century. Hagen suggested that perhaps it is copied from a work by Alessandro Magnasco (ca. 1667–1749). Chappell ventured the tantalizing identification of the subject with Antonio Magliabecchi (1633–1714), the Florentine scholar and librarian to the Medici (the BCMA owns a 1710 portrait medal of him by Maria Antonio di Gennaro [A. Norris and I. Weber, The Molinari Collection at Bowdoin College (Brunswick, 1976), cat. no. 186, repr.]).

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).