RD.35 Two Old Women Conversing

RD.35 Two Old Women Conversing

St. Petersburg, Hermitage, Inv. no. 94-B.


Red chalk, pen and ink, 18 x 18.

PROVENANCE: Cobenzl Collection; came to the Hermitage in 1768.


Dobroklonsky, 1940, 37, no. 55, as Bandinelli.

Dobroklonsky, 1962, 11-15, with Fig., as Rosso.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. II, 491-492, F. 35, 541, Bk. III, Fig. 187, as Bandinelli, in the mid-1520s.

Hermann-Fiore, 1983, 225, under no. 151, as possibly a copy of a drawing by Rosso.


Ward did not include the drawing in his catalogue of 1982, indicating perhaps that he did not think it is by Bandinelli as I thought in 1964.  Hermann-Fiore reported in 1983 Ward’s opinion that the drawing is “much closer to Rosso” and “may be by Bandini.”  I do not see that the handling of the drawing can be related to any drawing certainly known to be by Rosso.  The figures existing so fully in space and with the drapery of one so amply turned around her body are not specifically related to any by Rosso.

The penmanship of the St. Petersburg drawing is very much like that of the Bearded Nude in Profile in the Uffizi, which also uses red chalk, that has been wrongly attributed to Rosso (Fig.RD.8, verso).  This manner of pen and ink drawing is related to that of a drawing that has been attributed to Vincenzo de’Rossi, but it is also like that of Bandini’s drawings, as Ward indicated (see RD.8).  The drawing can be related to several other drawings that have been wrongly given to Rosso, some of which have also been associated with Bandinelli (see RD.3).

COPY: Rome, Gabinetto Nazionale delle Stampe, inv. F.N. 2974 recto (15948-L-3).  Black chalk, red chalk, pen and ink, 34.4 x 23.2 (Fig.RD.35, Copy).  LITERATURE: Hermann-Fiore, 1983, 225-226, no. 151, as attributed to Cherubino Alberti, and a copy of the St. Petersburg drawing.  The verso shows architectural profiles in perspective.

From a reproduction the drawing seems to be a very accurate copy of the St. Petersburg drawing and in the same media.  Slightly more is shown, suggesting that the St. Petersburg drawing has been cut on all sides.

Hermann-Fiore reported that the head of the figure at the left appears in a drawing in the Uffizi (vol. 93697, p. 15) that may be by Alessandro Alberti.