(Pistoia 1623 – 1703 Rome)
The continence of Scipio
Black chalk, pen and ink and brown wash, heightened with white gouache on blue paper
Annotated: Pietro da Cortona
Lazzaro Baldi is celebrated for a number of ephemeral decorations that he produced in Rome for the beatification and canonization of the saints. He worked on thirteen of them, and from 1662 his workshop produced nearly 1500 pictures (see V. Casale, I Quadri di canonizzazione: Lazzaro Baldi, Giacomo Zoboli, produzione, riproduzione e qualità, Paragone, 1982, p.54, note 13). Admitted to the Academy of San Luca in 1652 Baldi became its Principe in 1679. Later in his career, he abandoned large decorative compositions and instead produced religious works, influenced by Lanfranco.
This work should be dated to the early part of the artist’s career, when he was still heavily influenced by the baroque style of Pietro da Cortona. The compositions of this period are characterized by an abundance of figures, and declamatory gestures.
We thank Jörg M. Merz for pointing out a copy of this drawing is at the National Gallery in Washington, catalogued as seventeenth century Italian School (Inv. 1943.3.8866). Ursula Fischer Pace points out that this sheet also relates to Giovan Battista Lenardi (1656-1704), and it seems to have directly inspired the composition of Lenardi’s celebrated painting at the Collegio Alberoni Piacenza (see F. Arisi, L. Mezzadri, Arte e Storia nel Collegio Alberoni di Piacenza, 1990, cat. 82).
365 x 225 mm