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Male nude
Creti, Donato
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Creti, Donato

Cremona, Lombardy, 1671 - Bologna, 1749

See author's file

Male nude

1714 - 1722. Oil on paper.
Not on display

This drawing is linked to his Male nude and cherub, painted as part of a series of over-door paintings commissioned by his leading patron Marcantonio Collina Sbaraglia, who gave them to the Municipality of Bologna in 1744. They were part of a set of sixteen works Creti made between 1714 and 1722, now in the Collezioni Comunali d’Arte, Bologna. The over-door paintings depict four male and four female figures. Six are in oils, while the remaining two are in tempera. This difference is also reflected in the drawings for this series: the study for Sleeping youth, 1714-22, in Stuttgart is in black pencil, which Creti may have preferred to oils because he planned to paint the final work in tempera.

This work is a fine example of the tradition of academic drawing from nude models, as practiced by apprentices and artists in the seventeenth century. It differs significantly from the finished work. The curtains that appear in the upper right part of the painting are replaced in the drawing by the base of a column, and the cherub in the upper left of the canvas is substituted with a plant motif here. As Manuela Mena Marqués points out, this could indicate that, instead of being a preparatory drawing, this work may be a pictorial ricordo.

The work is glued to a second support, a manuscript page with accounts including the name Girolamo Belloni di Roma, which must refer to the Marquis Girolamo Belloni (1688-1760), a Vatican banker during the papacy of Benedict XIV and the author of a Dissertation on Commerce, published in Rome in 1750.

Born in Cremona, Donato Creti was the son of a modest quadrature painter and was related on his mother’s side to the still-life painter Margherita Caffi. Creti trained as an artist in Bologna, where he carried out his first major public work in 1710: a fresco at the Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande. Three years later he made a fresco at the Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio in homage to the doctor Girolamo Sbaraglia, but its rapid decay in just a few years led Creti to try to preserve the image by creating a print after it. This was his only experience with printmaking. Creti was one of the founders of Bologna’s Accademia Clementina and served as its president on two occasions.

de Carlos Varona, Mª Cruz, Donato Creti 'Male nude' En:. Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, p.266

Technical data

Inventory number
Creti, Donato
Male nude
1714 - 1722
Height: 283 mm; Width: 419 mm
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., I Grandi Disegni Italiani Nelle Collezioni Di Madrid, Silvana Editoriale D'Arte, Milán, 1978, pp. nº 64.

Mena Marqués, Manuela, Catálogo de Dibujos. VII. Dibujos Italianos del Siglo XVIII y del Siglo XIX, Madrid, 1990, pp. 54, nº 73.

Riccòmini, Eugenio, Donato Creti. Melanconia e perfezione. Le storie di Achille, le Virtù, e i chiaroscuri della donazione Collina Sbaraglia al Senato di Bologna, Edizioni Olivares, Milán, 1998.

Visioni anatomiche: le forme del corpo negli anni del Barocco / tesdi di Andrea Carlino, Silvana, Milán, 2011, pp. 117.

Riccòmini, Marco, Donato Creti. Le opere su carta. Catalogo ragionato, Umberto Allemandi, Turín, 2012, pp. 55, nº 55.1.

Maurer, G., Goya: lo bello y lo recóndito. En: La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 312.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 38 n.172.

de Carlos Varona, Mª Cruz, Donato Creti 'Male nude' En:, Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 266.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 2179.

Exhibitions +

Italian Masterpieces from Spain's Royal Court. Museo Nacional del Prado
16.05.2014 - 31.08.2014

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Displayed objects +


Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 26-11-2015

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