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RD.31 Group of Nude Warriors in a Landscape

RD.31 Group of Nude Warriors

Paris, Louvre, Inv. 1580.

Fig.RD.31

Red chalk, the back of the central figure playing a pipe seemingly drawn over with a different color red chalk, 31.5 x 34.6; laid down, no wm. visible.  Inscribed in pencil on the back of the mount, at the top: Primaticcio GB and in ink at the bottom: A. Lombardi.

PROVENANCE: Everard Jabach (Lugt 2959 and 2953).

LITERATURE:

Jabach Inventory, 1671, no. 65, as Bandinelli (from Ward, 1982).

Berenson, 1903, 1938, 1961, no. 2454, as Rosso.

Kusenberg, 1931, 136, 145, no. 71, Pl. LXXI, as Rosso, 1523-1527.

Becherucci, 1944, 27 (1949, 28), as Rosso.

Barocchi, 1950, 206-207, Fig. 185, as Rosso, Roman period.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. II, 507-508, F. 48, Bk. III, Fig. 202, as Salviati, of the mid or late 1520s.

Béguin, 1966, 58, by implication as Rosso’s.

Ward, 1982, 386-387, no. 365, as Bandinelli.

Lévêque, 1987, 167, possibly the drawing mentioned as by Rosso.

 

In 1964 I questioned Berenson’s attribution of this drawing to Rosso and related it to Uffizi 477F recto (Fig.RD.7), which I gave to Bandinelli.  However, I thought the Louvre drawing was more likely by a pupil closely copying Bandinelli’s style rather than by Baccio himself, and I thought that pupil was the young Salviati.  It was reported to me that Iris Cheney had also reached this conclusion.  Ward also related the drawing to Uffizi 477F, which, however, he did not give to Bandinelli with full confidence.  Nevertheless he believed the Louvre drawing was his, and reported that Catherine Monbeig-Goguel and Françoise Viatte thought the same.  He also reported that Patricia Rubin and Alessandro Nova do not believe that the drawing is by Salviati.

There seems, at least, to be a general recent opinion that the drawing is not by Rosso.  Its smooth modeling and sketchy landscape are nowhere found in drawings unquestionably by Rosso.  Ward’s attribution to Bandinelli had the attraction of reviving an opinion of the seventeenth century.  But that it is correct is not clear.  The drawing does bear a resemblance to Uffizi 477F recto, but that they are actually by the same hand is questionable.  There is a peculiar disjunction between the seven heads and the number of feet in the Louvre drawing, and the figure at the far left is only a head and part of an arm.  These details suggest that the drawing is a copy from an original that the copyist did not study carefully and did not reproduce completely.