Christ Healing the Blind Man
39.4 cm x 27.3 cm (15 1/2 in. x 10 3/4 in.)
(Sant'Angelo in Vado (Marches), Italy, 1540-1542 - 1609, Ancona, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash and white heightening (partly oxidized) on ochre prepared paper, partly squared in black chalk, laid down
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
In his encyclopedic style and substantial intellectual activity, Federico Zuccaro is a fundamental figure of late Mannerism. His initial graphic language was a synthesis of developments in central Italy, with a vital accent from Venetian painting and Correggio. Principally in Rome, his later work became more deliberately classicizing and formulaic. His thought was also expressed in the founding of the Roman academy and his publication of Idea de’ pittori, scultori, ed architetti (1607), the most articulate statement of the period’s artistic theory.
In 1568 Zuccaro was commissioned for a pair of altarpieces for the Duomo at Orvieto. This drawing corresponds to a preliminary stage of one composition. It differs from the painting in the kneeling figure at the lower left and in a few minor details. Another version of the drawing (Louvre, Paris) is identical in size, technique, and virtually every mark, but its revisions are more logical and its line is more responsive. The Suida-Manning drawing is an autograph replica. It may have had a functional role in the project, as suggested by the squaring of one figure for transfer, or it may have been intended for a collector.
The Suida-Manning Collection includes two more compositional studies for major frescoes: The Adoration of the Magi in San Francesco della Vigna, Venice (1563–1564), and the Prophet and Sibyl in the Oratorio del Gonfalone, Rome (1573).