The studies on the recto and verso of this sheet served as the models for two paintings, part of a series of eight illustrating the life of Saint Anthony of Padua, executed by Flaminio Floriani (active 17th Century) for the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice (M. Hochmann, in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: Immagini di Devozione, Spazi della Fede, Padua, 2015, pl. 83). The paintings are briefly described by Zanetti who notes that the 'beautiful' series of eight paintings hangs above the main door, where they remain today even though four of the paintings have now been partially shaped to make room for a monumental tomb (A.M. Zanetti, Della pittura veneziana e delle opere pubbliche de' veneziani maestri, libri V, Venice, 1771, p. 262, [sopra la porta maggiore otto bei quadri con azioni di Sant' Antonio di Padua']). The little known Floriani was registered as an independent master in the guild of Venetian painters in 1603/4. Probably because of the Tintorettesque quality of his paintings, he is thought to have been a follower and possibly a pupil, of Domenico's father Jacopo Tintoretto (1518/19-1594).
The drawing on the recto of this sheet shows the Miracle of the Irascible Son. A young man cut's off his leg in a fit of remorse (seen in the left background) after kicking his mother (seen in the far background). Miraculously, Saint Anthony healed the young man's leg in front of a crowd of spectator's, as is shown in the foreground. The story of The Miracle of the Speaking Babe, shown on the verso, tells the story of a jealous marquis of the house of Este who accuses his wife of infidelity. Convinced that her baby is not his, the marquis presents it to a judge who is unable to find in favour of one party or the other. At that moment Saint Anthony of Padua's miracle takes place and the baby declares that his mother is innocent and that the marquis is indeed his true father. Both stories were also painted by Titian (circa 1488/90-1576) in 1510-11 in a series of frescoes on Saint Anthony's life in the Scuola del Santo in Padua (H.E. Wethey, The Paintings of Titian: I: Religious Paintings, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, 1969, I, nos. 93-4, Plates 139-40 and 142-3). Although they differ in composition from the present drawings, Domenico Tintoretto might have known the frescoes and possibly been inspired by them.
The present drawings are stylistically close to a group of about 90 drawings (of which about 80 are oil studies) which were bound in a 17th Century album until they were acquired by the British Museum in 1907 when the album was broken up (Inv. 1907,0717.1 to 90; H. Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat, The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries, New York, 1970, no. 1526). Like the present drawings, a large number of the sketches from this group are squared and quite a number of the compositions have been connected to known paintings, while some of them are only known through Ridolfi and others are now lost.
We are grateful to Prof. Bert Meijer his assistance with this catalogue entry.