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Federico Zuccaro (Sant'Angelo in Vado 1540-1609 Ancona)
Federico Zuccaro (Sant'Angelo in Vado 1540-1609 Ancona)

Taddeo returns to Rome escorted by Drawing and Spirit towards the Three Graces

Federico Zuccaro (Sant'Angelo in Vado 1540-1609 Ancona)
Taddeo returns to Rome escorted by Drawing and Spirit towards the Three Graces
inscribed 'Disegno', 'Taddeo', 'Spirito', and 'Grazia'; 'nato del 1519' and with inscriptions 'morto del 1566'
traces of black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash
10 7/8 x 7¼ in. (27.5 x 18.5 cm.)
Padre Sebastiano Resta (L. 2992).
Resta-Somers, no. e.22.
F. Abbot (L. 970).
E. Wauters (L. 911).
with Colnaghi, London, cat. no.16, 1971.
London, Colnaghi, Old Master Drawings, 1971, no. 16, pl. V.
Ottawa, The National Gallery of Canada, European drawings in Canadian collections, 1976, no. 4.
Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Museum and New York, National Academy of Design, Renaissance into Baroque: Italian Master Drawings by the Zuccari, 1550-1600, exh. cat. by James Mundy, 1990, no. 96.

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Jennifer Wright
Jennifer Wright

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Lot Essay

Federico Zuccaro created a twenty-drawing narrative illustrating the life of his brother, Taddeo, as a young artist in Rome, with the intention of translating them into a paintings cycle. An entire set of the drawings is now in the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, including another, larger version of this drawing which sets the entire composition in a shaped cartouche (see J. Brooks, Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro: Artist-Brothers in Renaissance Rome, Los Angeles, 2007, pp. 23, 33, no. 16).
This drawing depicts Taddeo reentering Rome through the Porta Flaminia accompanied by figures representing Drawing and Spirit, as the Three Graces stand beyond the gate, in the city, waiting for the young artist. Federico has included several identifiable sites of Rome in the composition, such as the steps of the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo (between Taddeo's legs), and the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, the Colonna di Antonino Pio, and the Campidoglio in the background.
This composition is one of the few from this series that Federico made a painted version. Unusually, it is oil paint on leather (Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, FN 17129), and it, along with the six other extant paintings, were possibly made as decoration for the Palazzo Zuccari (Brooks, op. cit., pp. 42-43, no. 29).

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