P.15 Rosso (VARIANT COPY) Rebecca and Eliezer

P.15 Rebecca and Eliezer


Pisa, Museo Nazionale di S. Matteo, Passerini Gift, inv. no. 4443.

Tempera on panel, composed of five planks of poplar, 165 x 117.

Fig.P.15b bw
Fig.P.15c woman in yellow
Fig.P.15d woman in red

The picture was restored for the Pontormo exhibition of 1956 by Nicola Carusi under the direction of Mario Bucci.  Baldini, in Mostra del Pontormo, 1956, 135, under no. 167, reports Mario Bucci’s observation that x-rays show two corrections (pentimenti), one in the profile at the right, the other in the nude at the extreme left, but without specifying where in the latter.  (It is possible that it is related to the missing left arm and hand of this figure; on which see below.  These x-rays have since been lost. For the Il Rosso e Volterra exhibition of 1994 the painting was again restored by Antonio Guarino under the direction of Mariagiulia Burresi, whose catalogue entry on this picture in Rosso a Volterra, 1994 (10, 142–150, no. 3, 3 Color Pls. and two x-rays of details) is the source of the information on condition and provenance given here.  The panel has been out at the right by about 6 cm. and probably also at the top; there may have been another plank at the left, about 20 cm. wide.  The surface is badly preserved.  Old varnish and old repainting were removed in 1956, at which time damage from the use of flax oil – the burning of the colors – was noted.

The painting is very dark.  Rebecca wears a dark red-orange garment over a blue-green blouse, dark orange arm band, and black or very dark green beads.  The man with the bare torso behind Eliezer wears a dark green turban with dark violet highlights.  The nude leading a camel at the far left has a purple cloak.  At the bottom, the figure with the dog wears a green and red hat.  The black woman at the upper right has a yellow-orange turban with red beads, and red beads around her neck; her sleeves are dull green.  The woman at the right has a green headdress and yellow hair, a yellow and purple dress, and green beads.

PROVENANCE: The picture was cited for the first time by Carlo Lasinio, in Inventario dei guadri e mobilia esistenti nelle stanze appartenenti alla R. Scuola del Disegno ecc…nel maggio 1828, fol. 160, Inventario 1828 (on 30 August 1828), the manuscript in the family archives published by his nephew, Ernesto Lasinio, in Il Camposanto e l’Accademia di belle arti dal 1806 al 1838 nelle memorie e nelle carte di Carlo Lasinio, Pisa, 1923, 74, as “n.67 – Altro quadro in legno, rapresentante Mosè che scaturisce l’accue ecc.; viene da Santi di Tito.  Quadro regalato dai Sigg. fratelli Passerini.”  As the picture is not in the Lasinio inventory of 1816 it seems that the picture was donated by the Passerini brothers between that date and 1828. Polloni, B., Catalogo delle opere di pittura, modelli in gesso ed altri oggetti riuniti nell’I. e R. Accademia di belle arti di Pisa, Pisa, 1837, as School of Santi di Tito, and as showing the Hebrews in the desert awaiting the manna.  Pisa, Archivio del Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, ms. Lanfredini, n.d. [1875–1893], inv. no. 4373, as Florentine School, sixteenth century.  Typewritten inventory of the Museo Civico, 1948.

Burresi suggests that the painting goes back to Silvio Passerini, who was made a Cardinal by Leo X and served him and Clement VII in Florence in the second and third decades of the sixteenth century, but no documentary evidence supports this.


Baldini, in Mostra del Pontormo, 1956, 134–135, no. 167, Pl. CIV, reporting the comments of Mario Bucci, as related to the picture that Vasari reports Rosso painted for Giovanni Cavalcanti (see below).  Because of the pentimenti revealed by x-rays Bucci has reservations about it being a copy.  He points out that the woman at the right is very close to an (unspecified) engraving of a female masked figure by Boyvin in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.  Baldini thinks the picture is a copy.

Sanminitelli, 1956, 241, Fig. 27, as a copy of the picture painted for Cavalcanti.

Oertel, 1956, 218, Fig. 35, as possibly by Rosso himself.

Shearman, 1957, I, 245, II, 228, n. 65.

Barocchi, 1958, 237, as a copy after Rosso.

Brugnoli, 1962, 342, 349–50, ns. 49–51, as a copy after Rosso of a picture painted in Rome, and as not after the painting mentioned by Vasari.  She recognizes the sleeping figure as related to Rosso’s sleeping Adam in the Creation of Eve in Rome.

Berenson, 1963, 195, as a copy after Rosso.

Cheney, 1963, 49–51, 518, and AB, 1963, 340, n. 22, as a copy after Rosso.

Shearman, 1963, 217 and n. 59, 219 and n. 67, by implication as Rosso’s composition (although the subject mistakenly indicated as of a story of Moses), as influenced by Michelangelo’s teste divine drawings.

Hirst, 1964, 122, 125, as a copy of Rosso’s painting done in Florence for Cavalcanti.

Brugnoli, letter, and Hirst, reply, BM, CVI, 1964, 290.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), I, Bk. II, 130–131, under P. 18, II, Bk. II, 477–482, under F. 25, as a copy, possibly by Salviati, of the lost painting by Rosso made for Cavalcanti and mentioned by Vasari.

Carroll, 1966, 174, n. 29, as not absolutely certain that it is a copy of Rosso’s lost work.

Carroll, 1971, 15, 18, Fig. 4, 25, 29, 32, n. 7, as a copy of Rosso’s lost picture.

Peluso, 1976, 88–106, as a copy of Rosso’s lost picture painted for Cavalcanti, but as done in Rome.  He believes that the sculptured head decorating the well is a portrait of Clement VII.  This is not an acceptable identification for this purely decorative detail.

Smith, 1977, 203, as a copy of Rosso’s picture for Cavalcanti, and as possibly related to the writings of Philo Judaeus.

Chastel, 1983, 274, n. 45, as of Rosso’s composition done in Florence.

Darragon, 1983, 34, 45, as a copy of Rosso’s lost Rebecca and Eliezer; he notes the black slaves in the picture.

Olszewski, 1984, 3, as the pendant to Rosso’s Moses Defending the Daughters of Jethro.

Parma Armani, 1986, 122, followed Brugnoli in dating the lost painting 1524–1527.

Gaston, 1988, 221, n. 2, questioned that the lost original was a pendant to Rosso’s Moses painting.

A. Giovanetti, in Pittura, Cinquecento, 1988, II, 826, as dated by most at very end of Florence period, but by Peluso in Rome ca. 1525.

Ciardi and Mugnaini, 1991, 16, Fig., 30, 31, 106, as a good and exact copy of Rosso’s lost picture, the lower left figure similar to St. John in the Los Angeles painting, and with a precise citation of one of the Quirinial Dioscuri.

Elam, 1993, 68–69, Fig. 8, as a copy of Rosso’s picture done in Florence and not in Rome in 1524–1527, showing greater restraint than the Moses picture, and as tempting to conclude, as suggested by Elizabeth Grath, that the patron asked Rosso for a painting like the Moses but for one more decorous.

Burresi, in Rosso e Volterra, 1994 (see above), as the original painting by Rosso mentioned by Vasari, who, however, wrongly identified its subject; as influenced by Michelangelo’s Cascina cartoon and the Sistine Ceiling, suggesting an early trip to Rome, the man leading the camel as in a sarcophagus relief at the Camposanto, Pisa; the subject interpreted from Philo Judaeus with Rebecca seen referring to reason and the well to divine wisdom, with acknowledgment of Smith’s article of 1977.

Franklin, 1994, 109, 113–117, Pl. 82, as a copy, perhaps by Bacchiacca, after Rosso’s picture, that probably was commissioned by Cavalcanti for some English dignitary or the king himself and sent to England, and completed after October 1523 when Rosso was living in Borgo de’Tintori (after renting a house on 2 October 1522 for a year in the Canto a Montelore); he notes that in the Speculum Humanae Salvationis the story of Rebecca and Eliezer prefigures the Annunciation.

Haitovsky, 1994, as a copy after Rosso, the original done in Florence; notes that the meeting of Eliezer and Rebecca prefigures the Annunciation and the marriage of the Virgin; citing Josephus Flovius, the indifference of the maidens other than Rebecca is pointed out; also that the marriage of Rebecca symbolizes the marriage of Christ and the Church, the nudes signifying sinners; these aspects and the water from the well signifying salvation and indicating that the picture was painted as a gift from the pope to Henry VIII as defender of the faith, and delivered by Giovanni Cavalcanti.

Mugnaini, in Rosso e Volterra, 1996 (1994), 135, under no. 1, as possibly a copy.

Sicca, in Rosso e Volterra, 1996 (1994), 147–156, does not believe Burresi’s attribution as an original painting by Rosso; that the picture was commissioned through the rich Florentine merchant settled in London, Giovanni Cavalcanti, its subject of compassion and generosity particularly related to an engagement, and in the Royal Family, and as a gift commissioned of Rosso by Cardinal Giulio de’Medici.

Mugnaini, 1994, 192.

Ciardi, 1994, 33, 34, Fig., 51, 81, 94, n. 105, as a contemporary and probably faithful copy from the ambiance of Rosso, and a pendant to the Moses which also refers to water and has analogous textual sources.

Joannides, 1994, 233, as a copy after Rosso.

Joannides, in Monbeig Goguel, 1998, 90, Cat. 4, 91, Fig.90, with full bibliography, as perhaps by Lappoli.

Vasari, 1550, 798 (Vasari-Ricci, IV, 244), after mentioning what is in all probability the Moses picture in the Uffizi (P.14) that Rosso painted for Giovanni Bandini, writes: “Similmente un’altro ne fece a Giovanni Cavalcanti, che andò in Inghilterra, quando Iacob piglia’l bere da quelle donne alla fonte; che fu tenuto divino, atteso che vi erano ignudi, e femmine lavorate con somma grazia alle quali egli di continuo di dilettò far pannicini sottili, acconciature di capo con trecce, e abbigliame[n]ti per il dosso.”  Repeated in Vasari, 1568, II, 206 (Vasari-Milanesi, V, 159–160). This is the last Florentine picture that Vasari assigns to Rosso before his departure for Rome, probably early in 1524.  Although Vasari mentions Jacob, the scene that he actually describes is of Rebecca and Eliezer; the story of Jacob and Rachel in Genesis 29 makes no references to women, other than Rachel, at a well, nor of Jacob receiving a drink of water.  The picture in Pisa depicts Rebecca and Eliezer.  Thus with the substitution of the name of Eliezer for Jacob Vasari’s description would be correct, noting, however, that Eliezer received water only from one woman, Rebecca.  In the 1540s when Vasari was writing the first edition of the Lives he thought that Rosso’s picture had been sent to England — and wrote quite specifically that it had1 — so it may have been some time since he had seen it, if in fact he had ever actually laid eyes upon the original.  Later drawings and paintings by him of Rebecca and Eliezer indicate only that he knew the composition (see below). It is likely that Cavalcanti, who had business connections with England, was responsible for its export.2 Hence it would seem that he had either mistaken its subject or for the moment had forgotten the correct one when he came to write his “Life” of Rosso.  The latter seems more likely as Vasari’s own drawing and painting related to the Pisan picture are of the same subject and all of the drawings (see below) that are derived from Rosso’s composition are related to what appears in that painting; none suggest some other version, the subject of which might have been different.  It is interesting that there are a number of paintings, including the one in Pisa, and drawings derived from Rosso’s Rebecca and Eliezer while no copies nor derivations have been found related to the Moses.  This could be because the Eliezer was meant to be sent abroad, as suggested by Haitovsky and Franklin, and before it departure was seen to be studied and drawn from, while the exportation of the Moses was unforeseen and covert.  It was the making of the copies that seems to have conferred on the Rebecca and Eliezer a certain fame and currency.

Assuming that a mistake was made by Vasari by naming Jacob instead of Eliezer, the picture in Pisa has, on stylistic grounds, much to recommend it as a copy of the now lost picture by Rosso that he describes.  In spite of Bucci’s reservations (see above) about it being a copy, based on the pentimenti revealed by x-rays and on a comparison with an unspecified print by Boyvin after a masked figure that is only Rossoesque and not actually dependent upon a work by Rosso (probably one of RE.13), and of Burresi’s opinion that it is Rosso’s work, albeit much damaged, it is not possible to consider the painting an autograph work by Rosso.  Its quality does not match that of the contemporary Moses nor, perhaps more to the point, that of the Sposalizio of 1522. Furthermore, the Rebecca and Eliezer has its own stylistic individuality that is, in certain details, distinctly different from Rosso’s and that seems to give evidence of the copyist’s own interests, talent, maturity, and background (see below).  It is for this reason that the picture is catalogued here as a “variant copy.”  Nevertheless, the picture can be taken seriously as derived from Rosso’s lost work.  The male figures are anatomically very much like those in the Moses and they are very similarly and diversely disposed—one might almost say displayed—in the composition.  In both the women are elaborately dressed, bejeweled, and coiffured, which also agrees with the description of the painting that Vasari says Rosso painted for Cavalcanti.  A circular disk decorates the well in both pictures.  Taking into account that the picture is a copy, and not a very expertly executed picture, and remembering also its poor condition, it is still possible perhaps to see in its handling of forms, especially in such passages as the back and torso of the two nudes at the bottom, something of the patterned construction of the nudes in the Uffizi picture.  This construction is less abstract in the Pisan picture and this may be due to the copyist lack of understanding or to his somewhat different intentions.  But it is also possible that the lost picture was not entirely like the Moses but was in certain repects also similar to the Sposalizio of 1523.  The figures are elongated as in that painting and there is a suggestion of elegance in the Pisan painting that is not quite like the vigorous bluntness of the Uffizi painting.  Some details are also like those in the Sposalizio.  The face of Rebecca, with its receding chin, resembles slightly more that of the woman behind the Virgin in the Sposalizio than that of the frightened girl in the Moses.  Rebecca’s sandals are similar to St. Joseph’s.  At the far right the woman’s profile with its long and slightly curved nose and open mouth recalls St. Apollonia’s.  Furthermore, the raking light in the painting in Pisa—the biblical account places the event in the evening—is somewhat more like that in the Sposalizio than in the Moses.  Vasari’s wording does indicate that the two pictures were similar.  However, while the lost original Rebecca and Eliezer was, it seems, stylistically most identifiable with the Moses—see, in addition to the comparisons made above, the not wholly comprehensible placement of the camels at the right as similar to that of the sheep in the other picture—it may not be necessary to recognize the style of these two pictures as absolutely identical.  The copy in Pisa is almost exactly the same size as the Uffizi painting. But while the latter in painted on canvas, the copy is executed on panel. If this was the case with the lost original then its surface, like that of the Sposalizio, also on panel, was undoubtedly different, and its execution finer, than the surface and execution of the Moses which is broadly painted on rather coarse canvas.

Without knowing who made the copy in Pisa it is not possible to determine when precisely it was done.  As Vasari in the mid-1540s thought the original had been sent to England it was not available then.  A drawing possibly by Salviati in the Uffizi (Fig.P.15 Copy, Florence, 14610F) probably of the late 1530s, that is closely dependent upon the composition represented by the Pisa picture, attests to the fact that it was known at this early date, but it cannot be ascertained if the drawing is derived from the lost painting or from a drawing by Rosso made for it.  Another drawing, in the Albertina (Fig.P.15Copy, Vienna), possibly also by Salviati but earlier, is closely related to the nude leading a camel at the left in the Rebecca and Eliezer, but it, too, may have been made from a drawing by Rosso.  Nevertheless, the character of this figure in the Albertina drawing and particularly the face suggests that the copy in Pisa is fairly accurate.  However, one detail of this figure, that also appears in the other drawing by Salviati, and in another related to this figure formerly in the collection of Jacques Petit-Horry (Fig.P.15 Copy, Paris), is not in the painting.  In these drawings the left arm comes forward across the abdomen, and the hand, in the Albertina drawing especially, but also perhaps in the Salviati drawing in the Uffizi, appears to be holding the figure’s genitals.  It is difficult to read this gesture any other way.  Recalling Moses’ swinging genitals in the center of the Uffizi picture and the Dominican saint’s phallic gesture in relation to Joseph’s body in the Sposalizio it may be necessary to recognize that originally Rosso’s nude leading a camel held his genitals. As this detail does not appear in the copy in Pisa it cannot be determined if it was removed by the copyist (and hence is noticeable in the x-rays as the correction to this figure mentioned but not specified by Bucci?) or did not appear in the lost original and was only found in a lost drawing or drawings by Rosso made for the composition.  This, of course, allows for the possibility that the Pisan picture is derived from a lost drawing rather than from the lost painting itself.  But its color resembles that of the Moses suggesting that the lost picture was the source.  One may wonder if it was not reaction to the obscenity of this gesture in the lost painting that prompted the copyist to eliminate it.

The critical history of this painting is entirely connected to that of the Moses killing the Egyptian and defending the Daughters of Jethro (P.14).  Like that painting the lost original Rebecca and Eliezer should be recognized as having been done in Florence in 1523–1524 just before Rosso departed for Rome.  It seems only reasonable to identify it with the picture that Vasari says was painted for Giovanni Cavalcanti.  Vasari places this picture after the Moses, and this may have been the case, although the relationship of the style of the Rebecca and Eliezer to the Sposalizio may make one wish to see it as having been done before the Uffizi picture.  But in defense of Vasari’s order it should be pointed out that in almost all other respects Vasari’s “Life” of Rosso in Italy is chronologically correct (see P.14, note 7) and that the lower right sleeping nude in the Rebecca and Eliezer appears transformed into Adam in the Creation of Eve (Fig.P.17b) in S. Maria della Pace in Rome that was painted in 1524 very soon after Rosso left Florence.

While the painting would seem to be closely derived from Rosso’s lost work mentioned by Vasari it may not be a copy in the strictest sense.  This is not only because the painter may have chosen not to copy the left arm and hand, and what can be recognized as the genitals he holds, of the man leading a camel at the left, or because at the bottom of picture the knee of the reclining nude hides the genitals of nude stretching backwards, as both of these missing details appear in the Uffizi drawing (no. 14610F) of the full composition attributed to Salviati (see below), nor because he was not sufficiently expert in his art to make more than a mediocre copy.  The picture has certain stylistic aspects that seem to reflect the artistic personality of the painter making its own deliberate mark upon the matter provided by Rosso’s example.  Most conspicuous is a certain rippling of the contours and surfaces of the figures that is not especially related to the faceting of forms in Rosso’s Uffizi picture.  The draperies, too, seem to be smoother than in Rosso’s work of the early 1520s.  Nothing in Rosso’s paintings and drawings quite matches the drawn out undulations of the profile of the woman at the right or of the man with a turban at the left.  Nor are the sharp-edged large lips of the nude leading the camel and of the sleeping figure characteristic of Rosso.  The head seen straight on in the background has also it own particular look, with it heavy-lidded eyes, large lips, and small highlighted chin, that is not that of Rosso’s figures.  None of these details may alter the basic lineaments of the composition of Rosso’s lost painting, but they probably do modify the total appearance of the original painting toward an effect that is less bold, less grand, and more realistically anecdotal on the one hand and more decorative on the other.  However, the alterations made to Rosso’s image were probably stimulated by what was there, so that each change may be something of an exaggeration of what Rosso defined, an exaggeration marked by the personality of the copyist who was sympathetic to Rosso’s work but not wholly comprehending of it or not wishing merely to be a copyist.

The copyist would probably have been someone who had not actually worked under Rosso who left Florence very soon after the lost original painting was made.  He may also have been a very young painter who was just beginning to learn his art, for the picture looks somewhat inept.  It is just possible that the copy is by the very young Francesco Salviati and that it was done before he entered Andrea del Sarto’s shop, or while he was studying with Bandinelli around 1526, or shortly thereafter while he was working in the shop of Raffaello da Brescia around 1527–28.3 The copy could have been made because the original was about to be sent to England.


Florence, Uffizi, no. 695F, attributed to Maso da San Friano, Visitation?, pen and ink and wash, heightened with white, squared, 35.3 x 27 (information from a Gernsheim photograph at the Frick Art Reference Library).  The poses of the central figures and the reclining man and dog in the foreground indicate a knowledge of Rosso’s composition but not necessarily of the lost picture itself.  The drawing is tighter and more finished than drawings known certainly to be by Maso, but it seems to be of his period.

Florence, Uffizi, no. 14610F, Salviati, Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well (Fig.P.15 Copy, Florence, 14610F), red chalk, 32.7 x 23 sheet, the scene contained within an outlined area, 31.2 x 21.8; wm.: an anchor in a circle, similar to Briquet 466, or 482 but without the star above; inscribed in ink in the lower left corner: da Cecchino Salviati, and in blue pencil on the verso: Rosso fiorent.  LITERATURE: Berenson, 1903, I, 329, II, no. 2432, as Rosso. Ferri, 1917, no. 18, as Rosso.  Kusenberg, 1931, 153, no. 10, as Salviati. Venturi, IX, 5, 1932, 213, Fig. 120, 214, as Rosso.  Copertini, Giovanni, Il Parmigianino, II, Parma, 1932, Pl.CLXXb, as Salviati. Kusenberg, 1933, 166, as Salviati and as profoundly influenced by Rosso.  Berenson, 1938, I, 323 and n. 1, II, 313, no. 2432, under Rosso, but with the note that now it seems more probable that it is by Salviati.  Antal, 1939–1940, 47–49, as Salviati, around 1525–1530, after Rosso’s lost painting described by Vasari.  Becherucci, 1944, 29, as Rosso in his Roman period.  Popham and Wilde, 1949, 345, under no. 999, as probably by Rosso.  Barocchi, 1950, 221, Fig. 204, as Salviati after Rosso’s lost composition.  Hartt, 1952, 67, as “below the level of Salviati” and perhaps by Giovanni Fedini.  Bologna and Causa, 1952, 67, as Salviati.  Marcucci, in Mostra di disegni, 1954, 23–24, under no. 33, as after Rosso’s lost picture of 1523 and probably by a late Florentine mannerist.  The same in Het Eerste Manierisme, Amsterdam, 1954, 43, under no. 48. Triomphe du Maniérisme, 1955, 141–142, no. 250, as Salviati after Rosso’s lost picture.  Baldini, in Mostra del Pontormo, 1956, 135, under no. 167, as Salviati and related to Rosso’s lost picture.  Oertel, 1956, 218, as Salviati.  Berenson, 1961, I, 470 and n. 1, II, no. 2432, under Rosso, but as probably by Salviati.  Brugnoli, 1962, 342, as related to the copy of Rosso’s lost picture in Pisa.  Smyth, 1962, 72, n. 151, as Salviati after Rosso.  Cheney, 1963, 47–51, 78–79, 85, 105, 142, 517–518, Fig. 33, as Salviati, after Rosso’s lost composition but not as literal a copy as the Pisan painting; the drawing as probably done in Florence in the spring of 1539.  Cheney, AB, 1963, 339, as Salviati, second half of the 1530s.  Hirst, 1964, 125, as Salviati of the second half of the 1530s, as a free variation on Rosso’s theme known from the picture in Pisa but as also reflecting Rosso’s later style.  Carroll, 1971, 15–17, 22, 25, 28, 29, 31, n. 2, Fig. 2, as Salviati after Rosso’s composition and probably executed in the same period as Salviati’s Holy Family in the Uffizi (473F), around 1535–1539; it could have been made when Salviati was in Florence in 1539, or it could have been made in Rome from a copy, painted or drawn, of Rosso’s lost painting.  Monbeig-Goguel, 1972, 108, under nos. 127 and 128, as by the young Salviati.  Ragghianti, 1972, 78, n. 29, as Salviati and related to Rosso’s lost painting.  Carmen Bombach Cappel, “The Uffizi’s Sixteenth Century Drawings in Detroit and Some Tuscan Drawings in Philadelphia,” Master Drawings, 28, 2, 1990, 217, n. 23, as Salviati.  Mortari, 1992, 11, 192–193, Fig., no. 128, with full bibliography, as a youthful drawing by Salviati, perhaps in a second Florentine visit [1539?].  Elam, 1993, 68–69, as a free variant by Salviati.  Burresi, in Rosso e Volterra, 1994, 145, as Salviati, and because of its variations probably derived from a drawing by Rosso of an early version of this composition.  Haitovsky, 1994, 111. Franklin, 1994, 114, 116, Fig. 116, as Salviati.  Joannides, 1994, 233, 235, Fig. 5, as Salviati, done late in his first Roman period (c. 1532–1539), and adapted form Rosso’s painting recorded in a copy in Pisa. Joannides, in Monbeig Gogul, 1998, 90, Cat. 4, 91, Fig. 90, as generally now given to Salviati and probably done on a brief stay in Florence at the beginning of 1539; that perhaps Salviati knew the replica in Pisa; and that it is related to the engagement of Cosimo I and Eleanora di Toledo celebrated by proxy in Naples on 29 March 1539.

The attribution of this drawing to Rosso, first published by Berenson in 1903, has now been generally rejected in favor of Kusenberg’s attribution of 1931 to Salviati – although an inscription on the drawing may indicate that this attribution has an older history than the one to Rosso.  The handling of the drawing is very similar to a number of early drawing by Salviati in the Louvre, the Madonna and Child, Inv. no. 2727, the Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, Inv. no. 1656, and the Standing Draped Woman.  Inv. no. 1648 (Monbeig-Goguel, 1972, 108, nos. 127, 128, 109–110, Figs., 129, Fig., 131, no. 151).  Furthermore, the faces and draperies in the drawing are similar to details in Salviati’s Annunciation, probably of 1534 or 1535, in S. Francesco a Ripa in Rome; figuratively and compositionally it is also closely related to his Visitation, dated 1538, in the oratory of S. Giovanni Decollato in Rome.

Although the drawing is clearly related to Rosso’s lost painting, as first pointed out by Antal, it is, as Hirst indicated, a rather free variant of its composition as known from the copy in Pisa.  The drawing is generally dated in the second half of the 1530s and a precise date in the spring of 1539 when Salviati was again in Florence has even been suggested.  However, it is not necessary that it was made directly from Rosso’s lost picture; it might have been made from a copy of it, painted or drawn, or from a lost drawing by Rosso for his picture.  It might also have been made from the memory of an image that Salviati had seen before he left Florence for Rome late in 1531.  This memory would have been all the more acute if, as suggested above, the picture in Pisa is by Salviati, too, done before he went to Rome.  In the drawing the left arm and hand of the man leading a camel are visible as they are not in the copy in Pisa indicating that Salviati may here he recalling the original painting rather than the copy.  The line around the drawing may indicate that it was made to be engraved.

Paris (Levallois-Perret), formerly Jacques Petit-Horry Collection, Two studies of a standing male nude with his left arms raised over his head (Fig.P.15, Copy, Paris), black chalk, 25.6 x 16.7.  The figure at the left is related to the nude leading a camel at the left of the painting in Pisa but shows the whole figure not cut off at the knees.  The second figure is similarly posed but seen from the front.  Both studies seem to have been made from a model posed like the figure in the painting but in the left figure the left arm and hand appear that are not found in the painting in Pisa.  Hence, it may be that the draughtsman knew Rosso’s original painting, or a drawing made for it, rather than the copy.  This Pontormesque drawing was kindly brought to my attention by Janet Cox-Rearick.

Paris, Ensba, Vasari, The Gathering of Manna, drawing. LITERATURE: Antal, 1939–1940, 48–49, P. 45.  Franklin, 1994, 282, n. 109, points out that the drawing “shows the influence of the women with vessels on their heads and the reclining foreground figure.”

Vienna, Albertina, Sc. Rom. 4865, as Danielle da Volterra, Nude male walking to the right with left arm raised, and, at the left, an armless male nude seen to just above the knees (Fig.P.15 Copy, Vienna), black chalk, the armless figure in red chalk, 42.5 x 26.3.  LITERATURE: Wickhoff, 1892, CCXVII, no. S.R. 566, as Danielle da Volterra.  Carroll 1964 (1976), II, 481–482, n. 5. under, F.25, as certainly by Salviati.  Barolsky, 1979 (1969), 14, 118, Fig. 117, as by Danielle da Volterra in the late 1540s and nearly identical to the figure leading the camel in the Pisa picture. V. Birke, Die Italienischen Zeichnungen der Albertina, Vienna, 1991, no. 58, as Salviati.  Ciardi, 1994, 81, as Danielle da Volterra.  Joannides, 1994, 233, 234, Fig.4, as by Salviati, the main figure a study of the man at the far left in Salviati painting known from his drawing in the Uffizi, dating from late in his first Roman trip (c.1532–1539), the subsidiary drawing of a torso, an abbreviated copy of the torso in Rosso’s Contest of Athena and Poseidon [E.13]; he also points out that Alessandro Cecchi independently attributed the drawing to Salviati.  The black chalk figure is closely related to the nude leading a camel in the painting in Pisa, but shows the entire figure to the feet.  Its left arm is stretched somewhat higher, its full face is visible, as are also its left arm and hand, the latter apparently holding its genitals.  It seems possible that this drawing is not dependent on Rosso’s lost painting, nor the copy in Pisa, but on a lost study by Rosso for this figure, as also suggested by its fine draughtsmanship.  But more specifically the handling of the drawing looks like Salviati’s; see his early Madonna and Child in the Louvre, Inv. No. 1727 (Monbeig-Goguel, 1972, 108, no, 127, 109, Fig.).  The Albertina drawing was brought to my attention by Konrad Oberhuber. Joannides, in Monbeig Goguel, 1998, 92, Cat. 5, 93, Fig., with full bibliography, as by Salviati, related to the sculpture of the Dioscuri, to Rosso’s Rebecca and Eliezer, and to his Combat of Neptune and Minerva known from Fantuzzi’s print (Zerner, 1969, AF 32) but probably dating from the 1520s.

Windsor Castle, no. 6005, Vasari, Rebecca and Eliezer (Fig.P.15Copy, Windsor), pen and brown ink and wash, squared in black chalk, 24.7 x 18.5.  LITERATURE: Antal, 1939–1940, 47–49, Pl. 45, as Vasari after Rosso’s lost composition.  Popham and Wilde, 1949, 345, no. 999, as Vasari.  Franklin, 1994, 114, 282, n. 109.  The drawing clearly reveals the influence of Rosso’s composition but in reverse of that of the painting in Pisa.  Although Vasari’s drawing could have been based on one by Rosso, rather than upon his painting, or a copy of it, nothing of the graphic character of it suggests this.  It could also be based on Vasari’s recollection of the painting and possibly on a sketch he made of it before it disappeared.   A note in the catalogue at Windsor indicates that Pouncey connected the drawing to a ceiling design in the Art Institute, Chicago.  The ceiling drawing is published in Age of Vasari, 1970, 75, no. D. 9, 100, Fig., where it is attributed to Prospero Fontana but with the comment that Pouncey, Shearman, and Edmund Pillsbury have suggested Vasari, and that it is thought to be an early study for the ceiling of the Sala of Clement VII in the Palazzo Vecchio. According to Paola Barocchi, Vasari pittore, Milan, 1964, 136, under no. 63, this room was decorated between 1556 and 1561.  The drawing and the central scene in the ceiling drawing are also related to the painting of the same subject attributed to Vasari in Ficarazzi Acicastello, Società Rebecca (see below).  But a variety of details in the Windsor drawing not found in the other works, including the man reclining in the foreground, the women with urns on their heads, and the man leading a camel, show this drawing to be closest to Rosso’s composition.

Ficarazzi Acicastello (CT), Società Rebecca, oil on panel, 169 x 120. LITERATURE: Corti, 1989, 105, no. 82, with Fig. and with references to the Chicago drawing and other painted versions of this subject by Vasari.  Franklin, 1994, 282, n. 109, where he mentions a version in Naples that I have not been able to confirm.4

1 For the Moses Vasari said only that he believed it was sent to France.

2 Stephens, 1983, 188, mentions a Giovanni di Lorenzo Cavalcanti as a Florentine merchant in London from whom the commune borrowed 20,0000 florins in 1526.  His presence in London before 1520 and his connection with Henry VIII and with the project for his tomb designd by Bandinelli are indicated by Mitchel, 1971, 186–188, 201.  On Cavalcanti, see also Elam, 1993, 68, and Franklin, 1994, 114, 281, ns. 102–105.

3 The suggestion that this picture might be by Salviati is based upon the evidence of two drawings in the Uffizi and in the Albertina attributable to him that are related to Rosso’s composition (see below).  The Albertina drawing that is very closely related to the nude leading a camel seems to be a work done in Florence before Salviati went to Rome late in 1531 and may be derived from a drawing by Rosso rather than from his painting.  Stylistically it is related to Salviati’s Madonna and Child in the Louvre (Inv. 2727; Monbeig-Goguel, 1972, 108, no. 127, 109, Fig.) that can be dated before he left Florence.  In this drawing the definition of the Virgin’s head is very much like that of the head of the nude leading a camel in the Pisan picture.  The Uffizi drawing is later in date and rather fanciful in its relations to the composition represented by the picture in Pisa, but it gives evidence that Salviati knew the whole of Rosso’s Rebecca and Eliezer.  It is remarkable how much the profile of the woman at the far right resembles that of Salviati’s Standing Draped Woman in the Louvre (Inv. 1648; Monbeig-Goguel, 1972, 129, Fig., 131, no. 151), even though this drawing seems to date around 1550.  One can surmise that it was a kind of profile that was invented early, derived to some extent from Rosso’s S. Apollonia, and became part of Salviati’s vocabulary.  It cannot be said that these comparisons constitute proof that the painting in Pisa is a very early painting by Salviati but it is a possibility that should be kept in mind.  But it is a suggestion that was not, of course, taken up by Burresi, Rosso e Volterra, 1994, 145, who thinks the work is by Rosso himself. Franklin’s suggestion (1994, 117) of Bacchiacca strikes me as misleading given the very particular and unmistakable style that that artist has developed by this time.

4 Before the picture in Pisa was discovered, Kusenberg, 1931, 154, no. 25 thought that a drawing in the Louvre (RF 573; Fig.Louvre 573), that he considered to be from Rosso’s shop, might be related to Rosso’s lost picture, which it is not (brown and gray washed heightened with white on tan paper, 27.4 x 39.8, inscribed in ink, above center: Genesis xxiiii. above right: Mesapotamia, and lower left: Rousse Florentin Inuen).  This French drawing, probably of the third quarter of the sixteenth century, is under Luca Penni in the Louvre, wrongly according to Kusenberg.