Characteristic of Gaulli’s preparatory drawings in its emphasis on the outlines of the figures, this unpublished sheet is a study for a late modello in oil on canvas with the Holy Trinity surrounded by angels, datable around 1685-1695 (fig. 1; F. Petrucci, Baciccio. Giovanni Battista Gaulli, 1639-1709, Rome 2009, no. B37, ill.). While it is not precisely known for which commission the drawing and modello were made, it has been suggested by Dieter Graf that it could be the decoration of the vestibule of the baptistery at Saint Peter’s, Rome (‘Giovanni Battista Gaulli. Entwürfe zur Dekoration des Vorraums der Taufkapelle von St. Peter’, Pantheon, XXXII, 1974, pp. 35-47). Drawings for the pairs of angels at lower left and right of the lunette in a technique and style identical with those of the present sheet are at the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin (inv. KdZ 15280); and at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (inv. 1970.46; see ibid., p. 40, figs. 21, 22).
Fig. 1. Giovanni Battista Gaulli, called il Baciccio, The Holy Trinity surrounded by angels, present location unknown.