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Bowdoin College BCMA Logo Museum of Art

  • "15"
    Type: inscription
    Location: verso
    Materials: graphite
  • "Mola"
    Type: inscription
    Location: former mount (removed)
    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)
  • From Studio to Studiolo: Florentine Draftsmanship . . .
  • Drawing on Basics
    • Bowdoin College Museum of Art. ( 10/14/1993 - 12/19/1993)
  • Old Master Drawings from the Bowdoin College Museum of Art
    • Timken Museum of Art. ( 5/13/2005 - 8/14/2005)
Type: catalogue
Author: Henry Johnson
Document Title: Catalogue of the Bowdoin College Art Collections
Publ. Place: Brunswick, Maine
Reference: no. 20
Remarks: (as Mola)
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. 20
Remarks: (as Mola)
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. 102-103
Reference: no. 47
Publisher: Bowdoin College
Date: 1985

Type: exhibition catalogue
Author: Larry J. Feinberg and karen-edis Barzman
Document Title: From Studio to Studiolo
Publ. Place: Oberlin
Location: p. 72
Reference: b&w Illus. p. 73
Publisher: Oberlin College
Section Title: Florentine Draftsmanship Under the First Medici Grand Dukes
Date: 1991

After carrying an unlikely attribution to a seventeenth-century artist, Pier Francesco Mola, this drawing was recognized as a thoroughly characteristic work by Boscoli. Many drawings of his survive (principally in the Uffizi) and often show the typical facetted surfaces of his figures evident here. He made quite a few copies from other masters. François Viatte has remarked on Boscoli's strong stylistic connections with the many northern artists who were working in Italy during the late sixteenth century, forerunners of the later northern mannerists, such as Bartholomaeus Spranger (1546-1611) and Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) (Viatte and Monbeig Goguel, 62-64).

The Bowdoin drawing can be related to an altarpiece in Sant'Ambrogio in Florence (fig. 1), dating from 1596/97, for which it is a close study (Forlani Tempesti, 129). Jacopo Guidoni, the prior of Santissimi Apostoli, commissioned the painting for his chapel in Sant'Ambrogio (Bastogi, 136 and 245). The major modifications in the painting are the closing of the vista and the enlargement of the ecclesiastical figure in the right background. A related drawing very close in conception and dimensions is in the Museo Cerralbo, Madrid (Museo Cerralbo, cat. no. 10). That sheet is probably earlier than the Bowdoin version, for the figure in the right distance is even less resolved, and the perspective lines of the composition are quite apparent beneath the figures. The Bowdoin sheet appears to be a carefully prepared modello, or final composition study presented to the patron, with subtle application of washes. Forlani Tempesti indicates a probable preliminary study for this commission in a horizontal format in the Uffizi (Forlani Tempesti 146). Bastogi attributes the Bowdoin drawing to the studio of Boscoli although other scholars have argued that the work is by the artist himself (245 and 313-14).

David P. Becker (edited by Sarah Cantor)


Bastogi, Nadia. Andrea Boscoli. Florence: Edifir, 2008.

Forlani Tempesti, Anna. "Andrea Boscoli." Proporzione 4 (1963): 85-208.

Museo Cerralbo: catálago de dibujos. Madrid: Comisaría Nacional de Museos y Exposiciones, 1976.

Viatte, François, and Catherine Monbeig Goguel. Dessins baroques florentines du musée du Louvre. Paris: Ministère de la culture, 1981.


Fig. 1: Andrea Boscoli The Visitation, 1596/97, oil on canvas, Sant’Ambrogio, Florence Source: Bastogi, Nadia. Andrea Boscoli. Florence: Edifir, 2008, fig. 138

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).