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Bowdoin College BCMA Logo Museum of Art

  • Type: inscription
    Location: on block of stone lower right in composition
  • James Bowdoin III( Collector, Boston) - 1811.
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art( Museum, Brunswick, Maine) 1811- . Bequest
  • Mannerism in Prints and Drawings
    • Bowdoin College. ( 2/28/1984 - 4/9/1984)
  • Images of Women in 17th Century Prints and Drawings
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 10/3/1989 - 11/5/1989)
  • 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)
  • Modes of the Masculine and Feminine in Art, 1500-1700
Type: catalogue
Author: Henry Johnson
Document Title: Catalogue of the Bowdoin College Art Collections
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: no. 77
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. 77
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: pp. 104-105
Reference: no. 48 (illus.)
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Date: 1985

This drawing was first connected to the school of Polidoro da Caravaggio (1490/1500—ca. 1543) by Filippo di Pietro.1 The flat, relief-like treatment of the subject and the low viewpoint are characteristic of the style of Polidoro's many grisaille paintings of house facades in Rome. These paintings inspired numerous later artists, who copied them in drawings and engravings. The Bowdoin drawing can be assumed to have been copied from the same source as another drawing in an album taken primarily from Polidoro's designs; that album is now in the Lugt Collection, Institut Néerlandais, Paris.2 The album is said to have been in the collections of Andrea Sacchi and Carlo Maratti, and the drawings have recently been convincingly attributed to Cherubino Alberti (1553—1615).3 Sixty-three sheets in the album were engraved in 1791 by Conrad Metz, including the one with the same subject as the Bowdoin work.4

Jacob Bean attributed this drawing to Corenzio in 1963, recognizing the characteristic brush style with blue wash. A drawing of Joshua done in the same manner is in the Scholz Collection, New York.5 Corenzio worked in the Tintoretto shop in Venice during the early 1580s, where, it is thought, he developed his distinctive style.6 He spent most of his career in Naples and was a prolific decorator of churches there. It is not known specifically when Corenzio copied the presumed Polidoro model for this drawing, which reveals considerably more detail than the Alberti sketch and Metz print after the latter. The specific subject has not been identified;7 Susan Wegner has tentatively suggested that it might be connected with Polidoro's designs for the Casa Boniauguri in Rome.8

David P. Becker

1. Note on the verso of an old photograph in BCMA files.

2. Byam Shaw 1983, vol. 2, pp. 30-31, repr. pl. 47.

3. J. Byam Shaw, review of Gere and Pouncey 1983 in Burlington Magazine, vol. 125, no. 966 (September 1983), p. 552.

4. Pl. 34 (reversed) in Schediasmata selecta, 1791 (cf. Byam Shaw 1983, vol. 2, pp. 30-31).

5. Stampfle and Bean 1967, cat. no. 16, repr.

6. Ibid., p. 27, under no. 16.

7. Byam Shaw (1983, pp. 30-31) has very tentatively suggested the erection of a sundial. However, the staff of the Department of Egyptian and Near Eastern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has informed the author that sundials were not known in ancient Egypt.

8. One subject from those decorations, known from an engraving, is repr. in Marabottini 1969, pl. 129, no. 1.

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).