Ferraù Fenzoni (Faenza 1562-1645)
PROPERTY FROM AN ITALIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
Ferraù Fenzoni (Faenza 1562-1645)

The Death of Lucretia

Details
Ferraù Fenzoni (Faenza 1562-1645)
The Death of Lucretia
with inscription ‘R (?) Iulio Romano fecit inv.’
black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, pricked for transfer
9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in. (25 x 25 cm)
Provenance
Francesco Dubini (1848-1932), Milan.
Hoepli Collection, Milan; Finarte, Milan, 27-28 November 1974, lot 91, where acquired by the present owner.

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Jonathan den Otter
Jonathan den Otter

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Lot Essay

Portraying the suicide of the noblewoman Lucretia as recounted by Livy, this rediscovered sheet is an addition to the corpus of Fenzoni and an unusual detour from the master’s religious subjects. Set in an interior, the scene is witnessed at left by a young boy and centres on the tragic act of the Roman heroine which followed her infamous rape by Sextus Tarquinius. Fenzoni conveyed the scene within a nearly perfect square and through a dense system of crosshatching, emphasizing Lucretia’s elegant pose and the ornamental quality of her abundant draperies. This powerful sheet fits into a limited group of highly-finished drawings, all rendered with a painstaking technique of short strokes of pen and ink, executed by Fenzoni from about 1614 to 1622 and possibly conceived as gifts or as preparatory designs for prints (G. Scavizzi and N. Schwed, Ferraù Fenzoni, Todi, 2006, nos. D114, D132-33, ill.). Notably, the present sheet relates to the Mary Magdalen in the Louvre, similarly emphasizing a single female figure and drawn in the same highly-finished technique (inv. 21371; see ibid., no. D135, ill.). The fine pricking, limited to the main figure’s outlines, indicates its use as a small cartoon.

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