Drawing from Cassiano dal Pozzo’s “Museo Cartaceo”
Drawing, executed in pen and brown ink and brown wash over black chalk, laid to Stirling-Maxwell album sheet of wove paper, 128 × 288 mm.
This drawing of a panel relief showing maidens draping a candelabrum (‘Nuptiale Festum’) 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 antiquary Sir William Stirling-Maxwell. In the early sixteenth century, the marble relief was located in the atrium of Old St. Peter’s in Rome; after 1617, it was installed with its pendant relief of five female figures dancing (‘Nuptiales Choreae’) above opposite doors in the Salone of the Casino of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, on the Pincian hill. Its fame grew steadily and was assured by its inclusion (again with its pendant) in Perrier’s Icones (1645) and in Bartoli and Bellori’s Admiranda romanarum antiquitatum (1693). In 1807, the relief and its pendant were sold to Napoleon Bonaparte and sent to Paris; since 1817, both have been displayed in the Louvre.
The sheet was exhibited in 2001 (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.230 no. 140, with reproduction).