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Judith with her Maidservant Carrying the Head of Holofernes in a Basket / Another Study for the Maidservant
Polidoro da Caravaggio
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Polidoro da Caravaggio

Caravaggio, 1499 - Messina, 1543

Polidoro da Caravaggio See author's file

Judith with her Maidservant Carrying the Head of Holofernes in a Basket / Another Study for the Maidservant

Ca. 1525. Black chalk, Red chalk on yellow paper. Not on display

According to an inscription on the reverse of the old inlay, the former attribution was to Parmigianino. John A. Gere was the first to propose Polidoro´s authorship, in 1981, in a note on the modern museum mount. Paul Joannides confirmed the opinion of Gabriele Finaldi that the arrangement of the figures recalls that of Judith and her maid in the background of Michelangelo´s Judith Beheading Holofernes, one of the large scenes on the pendentives in the corners of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Indeed, close examination of the contents of the basket on the old woman´s head in the Prado drawings reveals, not fruit, but the head of a bearded man in profile, his face directed upwards. The study on the verso shows a different position for the old woman. This time she carries the basket forward in both hands just above the level of her chin, sharing its weight more evenly with Judith, whose body is only faintly indicated.

Interestingly, a female figure with a basket on her head, similar in pose to Judith´s maid in the recto study, appears in a Sheet of Studies of Women and Children in a drawing in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, also formerly in the collection of Lempereur (KTP 477; Leone de Castris, 2001, p. 483, D. 186). Parker suggested that the composition of the Oxford drawing might represent figures in a Gathering of the Manna and noted that the seated figure on the left is derived from one of the figures in Michelangelo´s Achim and Eliud lunette in the Sistine Chapel ceiling (Parker, 1956, II, no. 477). Leone de Castris has dated the Ashmolean drawing 1525-1526 and, in correspondence with the writer, supports the suggestion of a similar dating for the present drawing (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. 72).

Technical data

Inventory number
D001791
Author
Polidoro da Caravaggio
Title
Judith with her Maidservant Carrying the Head of Holofernes in a Basket / Another Study for the Maidservant
Date
Ca. 1525
Technique
Black chalk; Red chalk
Support
Yellow paper
Dimension
Height: 100 mm.; Width: 96 mm.
Provenance
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

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. 72, 356.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Chicago, 2008, pp. 66,72,356.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 1036.

LAOBRANOTIENEINSCRIPCIONES

LAOBRANOTIENETRANSCRIPCIONES

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
Madrid
23.11.2004 - 13.02.2005

Update date: 06-04-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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