This is a design for the Entry of the Marqus del Carpio, also called Marqus de Heliche, Elliche or Lice on the drawing, as Spanish Ambassador to Rome. Del Carpio (1625-1687) was the son of Don Lus de Haro, Spanish prime minister and great-nephew of the latter's predecessor, the Duke de Olivares. The inscription mentions that at the time the drawing was executed, 1673, del Carpio had not yet arrived in Rome. In fact he was to arrive in Rome only in 1677, four years after the death of Schor. Del Carpio did not stay long as Ambassador. In 1682, he became Viceroy of Naples, where he stayed until his death.
Del Carpio was a voracious picture collector: having already bought 1100 pictures when he left Rome, at his death del Carpio had amassed 1800 canvasses, F. Haskell, Patrons and Painters, London, 1971, pp. 190-2. He also had ten Velasquez, including the Rokeby Venus now in The National Gallery, London. In Rome, del Carpio befriended and patronized numerous artists such as Berretoni, Ghezzi, Grimaldi, and in Naples, Paolo de'Matteis and Giordano. His favourite artists, however, were Maratta, his school, and Bernini: he even tried to acquire Bernini's equestrian statue of Louis XIV for 30,000 scudi.
Del Carpio also assembled a large collection of drawings, all collated in thirty volumes. One album of Neapolitan drawings was sold at Christie's, 20 March 1973, lot 1-39, every sheet bearing del Carpio's attribution. Another album of drawings by Domenico Tintoretto is at The British Museum and three further albums are in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, at the Society of Antiquaries, London and in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid. A frontispiece for one of his drawing books is at the Institut Nerlandais, Paris, J. Byam Shaw, The Italian Drawings of the Frits Lugt Collection, Paris, 1983, no. 178, pl. 200.
For his entry into Rome del Carpio commissioned lavish decorative schemes from the most important Roman artists. In the 1660s and 1670s Schor was one of the most fashionable decorators and received commissioned from the main Roman families, such as the Borghese, for the carnival of 1664, M. Fagiolo dell'Arco, op. cit., p. 423, illustrated.
Del Carpio's connection with Schor did not end with the latter's death, for after his arrival in Rome del Carpio continued to commission decorations from the artists's sons, Filippo and Cristoforo. Filippo designed the temporary decorations for the feast for the birth of the Infanta Maria Luisa on 24 September 1681. In 1682, Filippo Schor drew the frontispiece to del Carpio's album of drawings after sculptures, now in the Society of Antiquaries, E. Harris Frankfort, The Alexander Mountain in Alexander the Great in European Art, exhib. cat., Thessaloniki, 1997, p. 641 (fig. 11 in the Greek version). This and the present drawing show stylistic similarities, though the quality of the latter is superior, which precludes the same authorship. Both of Schor's sons followed del Carpio when he moved to Naples in 1782.
Many of the important artists of the period designed projects for temporary chariots: Bernini for the Spanish King (E. Harris Frankfort, op. cit., pp. 19 and 96, illustrated), Lodovico Gimignani (E. Harris Frankfort, op. cit., p. 96, illustrated), Ciro Ferri for the entry of the Ambassador of the Catholic English King, Roger of Castelmaine, in 1687, and for the Entry of Francesco Maria de'Medici in the same year, E. Harris Frankfort, op. cit., pp. 529 and 537, illustrated. A further drawing inscribed 'Gio. Paolo Schor' but attributed to Giovanni Battista Lenardi is illustrated in S. Prosperi Valenti Rodin, Three Centuries of Roman Drawings from the Villa Farnesina, Rome, exhib. cat., Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and elsewhere, 1993, no. 69, illustrated.
We are grateful to Enriqueta Harris Frankfort for her help in cataloguing this lot.