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Angels and Putti amongst Clouds
Samacchini, Orazio
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Samacchini, Orazio

Bologna, 1532 - Bologna, 1577

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Angels and Putti amongst Clouds

Third quarter of the XVI century. Wash, Pencil, Chalk ground, Grey-brown ink on yellow paper. Not on display

The fine pen lines and carefully modulated passages of wash are characteristic of Samacchini´s highly disciplined, if not somewhat academic, style of drawing. A similar tightness of execution is found in many of his other pen-and-wash drawings, for example his finished pen-and-wash compositional study for the Coronation of the Virgin with Saints in the Gabinetto dei Disegni of the Uffizi, Florence, for the painter´s altarpiece, formerly in the church of SS. Naborre e Felice, Bologna, and now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale of the same city (inv. no. 1481 F; Florence, 1973, no. 11; Di Giampaolo, 1989, pp. 240-241, no. 116).

Samacchini´s almost obsessively correct approach to drawing stems in part from his adhesion to the artistic principles of the "new academicism" championed by Vasari (1511-1574), alongside whom he had worked in Rome. Comparison of Vasari´s drawing of St. Luke Painting the Virgin (D1563) with the present study shows how much Samacchini was influenced by his master´s conception of figures, especially in the rendering of their facial type, as well as in the carefulness of his handling of graphic media.

The Prado Angels and Putti amongst Clouds cannot be connected with any of Samacchini´s extant painted work, though the grouping of the figures is reminiscent of that in his illusionistic frescoes, painted in c.1576, in four compartments of the nave ceilings of the church of S. Abbondio, Cremona (three of which are illustrated in Fortunati Pietrantonio, 1986, pp. 675-677). These frescoes represent The Annunciate Angel, The Annunciate Virgin and Angels, Four Cardinal Virtues and Three Theological Virtues. At the base of each composition youthful angels and putti are similarly shown together, their legs sticking out bizarrely at different angles from beneath the clouds, which they support from below and on top of which the main figure or figures of the different frescoes are seated (Text drawn from Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 122).

Technical data

Inventory number
Samacchini, Orazio
Angels and Putti amongst Clouds
Third quarter of the XVI century
Wash; Pencil; Chalk ground; Grey-brown ink
Yellow paper
Height: 133 mm; Width: 229 mm
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931; I. Brun</br></br>

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de dibujos. Dibujos italianos del siglo XVI (por Nicholas Turner, con la colaboración de José Manuel Matilla), V, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 122, 384.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Chicago, 2008, pp. 122,384.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 1662.

Inscriptions +

Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci. Un siglo de Dibujos Italianos en el Museo del Prado
25.10.2008 - 26.07.2009

Un siglo de dibujos italianos en el Museo del Prado. De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci
23.11.2004 - 13.02.2005

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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