Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints
20 cm x 11.9 cm (7 7/8 in. x 4 11/16 in.)
(Venice, 1613 - 1679, Vicenza)
Medium and Support:
Black chalk on cream antique laid paper
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of Lawrence Lawver, 2000
Carpioni’s painting combines the sensual themes and vibrant color of 16th-century Venetian painting with the compositional rigor and more precise drawing of Baroque classicism and of Poussin in particular. Consistent with this conception, his drawing are unusually numerous and distinctive for a 17th-century Venetian. Most of these are pronounced in contour, regular in hatching, and executed in red chalk. When they relate to a painting, it is usually a mythological subject. This drawing was acquired with a generic attribution to the Venetian school. But its discrete composition, narrow tonal range, soft light, even morphology––delicate and elongated figures, large and flattened patterns of drapery––correspond exactly to a late series of altarpieces by Carpioni. And the touch and types are precisely those of his more familiar drawings. As a preparatory study in black chalk for a religious work, it is apparently unique.