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Two Sibyls (?) and an Angel
Anonymous (Follower of: Cambiaso, Luca)
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Anonymous (Follower of: Cambiaso, Luca)

Two Sibyls (?) and an Angel

XVI century. Pencil, Grey-brown ink on dark yellow paper.
Not on display

Nos. D01701; D01719; D01917; D01723; D01930; D01931; D01918 appear to represent sibyls, women from ancient times who were endowed with special powers of prophecy. From the Renaissance period and after, the western church accepted the sayings of twelve of these sibyls as foretelling the coming of Christ. As a result, the sibyls came to be regarded as the pagan, female counterparts to the Old Testament prophets and were commonly represented holding a book or a stone tablet.

In 1557-59, Cambiaso, together with his fellow painer Giovanni Battista Castello, called Il Bergamasco 1557-1629), was commissioned to complete the pictorial decoration of S. Matteo, Genoa, the family church of the Doria, the construction of which had started as early as the twelfth century. Cambiaso´s contribution included frescoes with Prophets and Sibyls on the ceilings of the lateral naves. Some of the figures represented in this nos. appear to depend on the Sibyl in those frescoes.

In addition to his painted Sibyls, Cambiaso made a series of drawings of these figures, usually showing them seated on clouds. His studies were evidently used in the workshop as models in the teaching of drawing, and similar studio repetitions to those in the Prado drawings are found in the Louvre (inv. nos. 9280 and 9284).

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracc: a century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Virginia, Art Services International, 2008, p.257-260

Technical data

Inventory number
Anonymous (Follower of: Cambiaso, Luca)
Two Sibyls (?) and an Angel
XVI century
Pencil; Grey-brown ink
Dark yellow paper
Height: 346 mm; Width: 270 mm
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. 260.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracc: a century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Virginia, 2008, pp. 257-260.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 604.

Inscriptions +

Cambiasi (bajo el dibujo)
Inscribed in pen and brown ink. Support

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

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