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Andrea Sacchi (Nettuno 1599-1661 Rome)
Old Master Drawings from the Collection of Ann Sutherland Harris
Andrea Sacchi (Nettuno 1599-1661 Rome)

The Immaculate Conception

Details
Andrea Sacchi (Nettuno 1599-1661 Rome)
The Immaculate Conception
with extensive inscription in ink (verso, laid down)
red chalk, pen and brown ink, black chalk
13 7/8 x 10 in. (35.5 x 25.5 cm)
Provenance
Nathaniel Hillier, London (1707-1783), with associated inscription the back.
Charles Rogers, London (1711-1784), with associated mount.
Earl of Warwick (L. 2600); Christie's, London, 20 May 1896, part of lot 227 (as Carlo Maratti).
Charles Fairfax Murray, London (1849-1919).
Anonymous sale; Tajan, Paris, 17 March 2004, lot 15 (as Carlo Maratti).
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 4 July 2004, lot 51 (as Filippo Micheli).
Literature
C. Rogers, A Collection of Prints in Imitation of Drawings [...], II, London 1778, pp. 161-163 (as Carlo Maratti).
A. Sutherland Harris in Disegno, Giudizio e Bella Maniera. Studi sul disegno italiano in onore di Catherine Monbeig Goguel, S. Valenti Rodinò, P. Costamagna and F. Härb, eds., Milan 2006, no. 113, ill. (as Andrea Sacchi).

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Lot Essay

Traditionally attributed to Carlo Maratti, this sheet was identified by Ann Sutherland Harris as Sacchi's preparatory drawing for an altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception, painted in 1651 for the Oratorio del Buon Gesù in Foligno and destroyed by allied bombing on 16 May 1944 (see lit.). As shown from a modest copy (fig. 1), the newly identified drawing fits the design for the lost work, with the Virgin standing, the two cherubim beneath and two putti on the left side. Its technique, with bold ink contours over red chalk, appears unusual for Sacchi and it has been proposed that it could have been made in preparation for a print (see lit.). This can be also argued from the traces of black chalk powder still visible on the recto, although these could relate to the later tracing by James Basire, who reproduced the drawing in 1778 when it was in the collection of Nathaniel Hillier. The present sheet widens the spectrum of Sacchi's draftsmanship and his influence over the young Carlo Maratti.

Fig. 1. Anonymous after Andrea Sacchi, Immaculate Conception, private collection, Foligno.

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