Drawing from Cassiano dal Pozzo’s "Museo Cartaceo" (293 × 225 mm) View larger
Drawing from Cassiano dal Pozzo’s "Museo Cartaceo" (293 × 225 mm)
Leonardi (Vincenzo), 1589/1590-after 1646

An early Imperial marble altar or statue base, carved with bovine heads supporting a heavy filleted garland (after the altar now preserved in the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Lyon)

Rome, c. 1625

Drawing, executed in pencil, pen and brown ink with wash, 293 × 225 mm.

This drawing of an unusually elaborate early Imperial altar or statue base was commissioned by Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-1657) for his celebrated “Museo Cartaceo”. Although better-known as a specialist in natural history, the draughtsman Vincenzo Leonardi also supplied Cassiano with drawings after the antique. In 1625, he was the only artist to accompany Cassiano on a legation led by Cardinal Francesco Barberini to France, where he documented for Cassiano objects of botanical, ornithological, geological, and archaeological interest. The altar recorded on our sheet is identified with one now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Lyon; it is speculated that it was already in France in 1625, and was drawn by Leonardi on this trip. Two other aspects of the altar by the same hand and also from the “Museo Cartaceo” are in the so-called “Franks volumes” at the British Museum (volume I, folios 150-151). Our drawing was exhibited in Rome together with other drawings and paintings from the Dal Pozzo collections (Galleria nazionale d’arte antica, Palazzo Barberini, 29 September-26 November 2000) and also in Biella (Museo del territorio Biellese, 16 December 2001-16 March 2002).

Subjects
Art - Collectors and collecting - Dal Pozzo (Cassiano), 1588-1657
Drawings - Artists, Italian - Leonardi (Vincenzo), 1589/1590-after 1646
Sculpture, Classical
Authors/Creators
Leonardi, Vincenzo, 1589/1590-after 1646
Artists/Illustrators
Leonardi, Vincenzo, 1589/1590-after 1646
Owners
Albani, Alessandro, Cardinal, 1692-1779
Dal Pozzo, Cassiano, 1588-1657
Dalton, Richard, c. 1715-1791
George III, King of Great Britain, 1738-1820
McGowan, John, died 1803
Stirling Maxwell, William, Sir, 1818-1878
Townley, Charles, 1737-1805
Townley, John, 1803-1876

Vincenzo Leonardi
Rome 1589/1590 – after 1646

An Early Imperial Marble Altar or Statue Base, carved with bovine heads supporting a heavy filleted garland

Drawing in pencil, pen and brown ink with wash, 293 × 225 mm

Laid to Stirling-Maxwell album sheet of wove paper. Mounted and framed.

provenance
C
ommissioned by Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588–1637) for the ‘Museo Cartaceo’ and kept in the library of his palazzo, via dei Chiavari, Rome — transferred (with the entire Dal Pozzo collections) by fidecommesso to his younger brother Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606–1689) — by inheritance to his second son, Gabriele dal Pozzo (d. 1695) — by inheritance to his widow (born Anna Teresa Benzoni, after her remarriage in 1697 the Marchesa Lancellotti de’ Ginnetti; d. 1736), held in custody for their son, Cosimo Antonio dal Pozzo (d. 1740) — within the Dal Pozzo library sold in 1703 to Pope Clement xi for the Vatican library — transferred in January 1714 to the Pope’s nephew, Cardinal Alessandro Albani (1692–1779), and kept in his palazzo ‘alle Quattro Fontane’ in Rome — within the Albani collection of prints and drawings, including the ‘Museo Cartaceo’, sold in 1762 to James Adam as agent for the Royal Librarian Richard Dalton1 — King George iii, kept in Buckingham House — among sheets of the ‘Museo Cartaceo’ appropriated by Dalton (1715–1791) during a reorganisation of the drawings circa 1786–1788 — his deceased sale by Greenwood’s auction house, London, 11–19 May 1791 (Lugt, Répertoire, 4730)2 — John MacGowan (d. 1803), lawyer and antiquary of Edinburgh, with his collection mark (Lugt, Les marques de collections de dessins & d’estampes, no. 1496) on sheet verso — his deceased sale by the auctioneer Thomas Philipe, London, 26 January–4 February 1804 (Lugt, Répertoire, 6733)3 — Charles Townley (1737–1805) — his kinsman John Townley (1803–1876) — his sale by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, 10–11 May 1865, part lot 406 (Lugt, Répertoire, 28512) — purchased by Thorpe (£5 5s) — acquired by 1871 by Sir William Stirling Maxwell of Pollok (1818–1878) and bound in an album entitled ‘Drawings by Italian Old Masters. Sculpture’ — by descent within the family — consigned for sale by Phillips, Son & Neale, ‘Old Master Drawings’, London, 12 December 1990, where dispersed as lots 219–374 (this sheet lot 270)— the present owner

exhibited
Rome, Galleria nazionale d’arte antica, Palazzo Barberini, 29 September–26 November 2000

Biella, Museo del territorio Biellese, 16 December 2001–16 March 2002

literature
I segreti di un collezionista: le straordinarie raccolte di Cassiano dal Pozzo 1588–1657, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Galleria nazionale d’arte antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome, from 29 Septem­ber–26 November 2000, edited by Francesco Solinas (Rome: Edizioni De Luca, [2000]), p.148 no. 163 (reproduced)

I segreti di un collezionista: le straordinarie raccolte di Cassiano dal Pozzo 1588–1657, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Museo del territorio Biellese, Biella from 16 December 2001–16 March 2002, edited by Francesco Solinas (Roma: Edizioni De Luca, 2001), p.225 no. 135 (reproduced)

Fig.1 Drawing from Cassiano dal Pozzo’s ‘Museo Cartaceo’
Reduced from 293 × 225 mm

This drawing of a particularly rich, elaborate example of an early Imperial altar or statue base was commissioned by Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588–1657) for his ‘Museo Cartaceo’, and later passed through the collections of Pope Clement xi, his nephew Cardinal Alessandro Albani, King George iii, and the antiquaries John MacGowan, Charles Townley, and Sir William Stirling-Maxwell. It came onto the market at the dispersal of the Stirling-Maxwell albums of ‘Drawings by Italian Old Masters. Sculpture’ by Phillips, Son & Neale, in London, 12 December 1990.

Two other aspects of the altar by the same hand and also from the ‘Museo Cartaceo’ are in the so-called ‘Franks volumes’ at the British Museum (volume i, folios 150–151).4 The sheets in the Franks volumes became separated from the main body of ‘Museo Cartaceo’ drawings at Windsor at the same time as the drawings in the Stirling-Maxwell albums, and also passed through the collections of MacGowan and Townley, before their acquisition by Sir A.W. Franks (the volumes were presented to the British Museum by C.H. Read in 1898). The two views of the altar base in the Franks volumes were attributed to Vincenzo Leonardi by Francesco Solinas in 1993;5 the sheet here offered for sale was attributed to Leonardi when exhibited in Rome in 2000.

Although better-known as a specialist in natural history, Vincenzo Leonardi also supplied Cassiano with drawings after the antique. Five such sheets were attributed to Leonardi by Solinas; Nicolas Turner identified several more;6 and Ingo Herklotz has enlarged the corpus further,7 confirming Turner’s judgment that ‘In terms of their technical mastery, the group given to Leonardi is among the most accomplished of the entire Paper Museum’.8

More is known than just a few years ago about Leonardi. He was born in Rome in 1589 or 1590 and was formed from 1607 until 1615 in the studio of Antonio Tempesta.9 It is assumed Leonardi entered Cassiano’s employment about 1621, when he prepared a suite of bird drawings for illustration in a book which Cassiano presented to the Accademia dei Lincei in 1622.10 In 1625 he was the only artist to accompany Cassiano on a legation led by Cardinal Francesco Barberini to France, where he documented for Cassiano objects of botanical, ornithological, geological, and archaeological interest. A ‘Sarcophagus with a chariot race’ (Windsor, Royal Library 8456) was drawn while Cassiano and Leonardi were at Fontainebleau.11 The altar recorded on our sheet is identified with an ‘ Autel avec guirlandes et bucranes’ now in the Musée gallo-romain de Lyon-Fourvière, Inv. frv 2001.0.330 (see Fig. 2);12 it is speculated that it was already in France in 1625, and was drawn by Leonardi on the same trip.13

Fig.2 Comparative illustration ‘Avtel Dionysiaqve’, engraving in
Gazette Archéologique 2 (1876), pl. 26 (image source Gallica)

1. John Fleming, ‘Cardinal Albani’s drawings at Windsor: their purchase by James Adam for George iii’ in Connoisseur (November 1958), pp.164–169.

2. Dalton possessed perhaps as many as 1000 drawings extracted from the ‘Museo Cartaceo’, all apparently offered on the eighth day of his sale in lot nos. 42 (two volumes of ‘Antique Roman and Greek Statues’), 64 (‘seventy-two basso relievos, figures, busts, etc. after the antique’), 65 (‘a porto folio with upwards of 100 ditto containing antiquities’), 66 (‘about 130 ditto, of ditto’), 67 (‘a ditto with ditto, Etruscan vases, bronzes, etc.’), 69 (‘eighty odd various antiquities in vases, basso-relievos etc. etc.’). Regarding Dalton and his sale, the later provenance of 523 folios of drawings (later entered into the Franks volumes), and eighty-nine other sheets, all originally part of the ‘Museo Cartaceo’, see Ian Jenkins, ‘Cassiano dal Pozzo’s “Museo Cartaceo”. New Discoveries in the British Museum’ in Nouvelles de la République des Lettres 2 (1987), pp.34–35; and Jenkins’s ‘Newly discovered drawings from the Museo Cartaceo in the British Museum’ in Cassiano dal Pozzo. Atti del Semina­rio Internazionale di Studi, edited by Francesco Solinas (Rome 1989), pp.130–175.

3. Our drawing was likely contained in either lot 868 (‘thirty-three statues, Basso-relievos etc., from the antique’) or lot 869 (‘thirty-four of various antiquities, vases, lamps, columns, friezes’); see Jenkins, op. cit. (1987, note 2), p.33.

4. Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule, ‘The Dal Pozzo-Albani Drawings of Classical Antiquities in the British Museum’ in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 50 (1960), part v, p.21, nos. 176–177 (reproduction of no. 176 on p.64).

5. Francesco Solinas, ‘Sull’atelier di Cassiano dal Pozzo: Metodi di ricerca e documenti inediti’ in Cassiano dal Pozzo’s Paper Museum. Volume ii (Quaderni puteani, 3) ([Milan] 1992), pp.60, 62–63 figs.5–6 (reproducing both sheets).

6. Nicholas Turner, ‘Some of the copyists after the antique employed by Cassiano’ in The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo, catalogue of an exhibition held in the British Museum, London, 14 May–30 August 1993 (Quaderni puteani, 4) ([Milan] 1993), pp.36–37.

7. Ingo Herklotz, ‘London, Cassiano dal Pozzo’ [review of the exhibition] in The Burlington Magazine 135 (1993), pp.573–574; Ingo Herklotz, Cassiano dal Pozzo und die Archäologie des 17. Jahrhunderts (Munich 1999), pp.140–141. See also The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo: a catalogue raisonné. Series A. Part ii. Early Christian and medieval antiquities: Other mosaics, paintings, sarcophagi and small objects, compiled by John Osborne and Amanda Claridge, with contributions by Cecilia Bartoli and Eileen Kinghan (London 1998), nos. 300–303 (Windsor, Royal Library 300–303).

8. Turner, op. cit. (1993), p.37.

9. Francesca Ceccaroni Cambi Voglia and Simona Modestini, ‘Note d’archivio sulla presenza a Roma di Antonio Tempesta’ in Natura morta, pittura di paesaggio e il collezionismo a Roma nella prima metà del Seicento: Italia, Fiandre, Olanda, edited by Silvia Danesi Squarzina (Rome 1996), pp.117–122; see further, Silvia Danesi Squarzina and Luisa Capoduro, ‘Nuove date e nuovi nomi per le incisioni della “Galleria Giustiniana”’ in Studi di storia dell’arte in onore di Denis Mahon, edited by Maria Grazia Bernardini (Milan 2000), pp.155, 161–162. In the years 1611–1615, Leonardi was a lodger in Tempesta’s house; see Alla ricerca di ‘Ghiongrat’: studi sui libri parrocchiali romani (1600–1630), edited by Rossella Vodret (Rome 2011), p.523 no. 2156.

10. Giovanni Pietro Olina, Uccelliera overo Discorso della natura, e proprietà di diversi uccelli, e in particulare di que’ qui cantan: con il modo di prendergli, conoscergli, allevargli, e mantenergli (Rome 1622); Francesco Solinas, L’uccelliera: un libro di arte e di scienza nella Roma dei primi Lincei (Rariora et mirabilia, 2) (Florence 2000), p.86.

11. Turner, op. cit. (1993), p.98 no. 55; Herklotz, op. cit. (1993), pp.573–574; Herklotz, op. cit. (1999), p.331 fig. 41.

12. The altar was first published by François Lenormant, ‘Autel Dionysiaque du Musée de Lyon’ in Gazette Archéologique 2 (1876), pp.102–106 pl. 26, noting its discovery ‘a quelques années a Lyon dans le quartier des Brotteaux, sur la rive gauche du Rhône, dans le Jardin de l’établissement des Frè­res de la Doctrine chrétienne, qui l’ont généreusement offert au Musée de la Ville’. Lenormant’s illus­tration shows the same aspect of the altar as our drawing, with the animal heads broken off. According to Émile Espérandieu, Recueil général des bas-reliefs de la Gaule romaine (Paris 1907), iii, no. 1755, the altar stands 97 cm high and its diameter is 78 cm; cf. Nouvel Espérandieu: recueil général des sculptures sur pierre de la Gaule. Tome ii, Lyon, by Maria Pia Darblade-Audoin (Paris 2006), pp.114–115 no. 336 and pl. 124, with revised date (‘Dans le context de l’histoire lyonnaise, l’autel est probablement arrivé peu après 43. av. J.-C.’) and dimensions (height 97 cm, diameter 81 cm).

13. Veronica Carpita, in I segreti di un collezionista (2000) p.107 no. 109 and I segreti di un collezioni­sta (2001) p.148 no. 163 (see literature). Cassiano’s ‘Relazione Diaria’ (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Mss Barb. Lat. 5688) is being prepared for publication by Giovanni Morello, Alessandra Anselmi, and Francesco Solinas.

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