Two drawings, uniformly executed in pen and dark brown ink and brown wash over black chalk, laid to Stirling-Maxwell album sheets of wove paper, 408 × 272 mm and 407 × 267 mm. Uniformly framed.
These decorative drawings were extracted in 1990 from one of the two albums of “Drawings by Italian Old Masters. Sculpture” assembled circa 1871 by the Scottish antiquary Sir William Stirling Maxwell. The two albums contained mostly drawings commissioned by Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-1637) for his celebrated “Museo Cartaceo”, a corpus of drawings of antiquities in Rome. After Cassiano’s death, the “Museo Cartaceo” was augmented by his younger brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo, then by Cardinal Alessandro Albani, who incorporated drawings inherited from his uncle, Pope Clement XI, including a hoard accumulated by the artist Carlo Maratti. While our two drawings might have been introduced into the “Museo Cartaceo” by Carlo Antonio, before ill health brought his collecting to a halt in 1685, it is more likely that they were executed in the eighteenth century, and were added by Cardinal Albani. Both vases are drawn in mirror image of the originals, suggesting that they could be preparatory drawing for an unrealised suite of large-format engravings of Roman antiquities (they do not correspond to any known prints).