Martyrdom of Saint Stephen
40.2 cm x 26 cm (15 13/16 in. x 10 1/4 in.)
Gregorio De Ferrari
(Porto Maurizio, 1647 - 1726, Genoa)
Medium and Support:
Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash over traces of black chalk and graphite on cream anitque laid paper, laid down
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Descended from the lyrical, subjectively inclined Genoese of mid-century, and deeply informed by the study of Correggio, Gregorio’s compositions twist in ceaseless gyres, his figures deform in ecstatic response, and his color goes iridescent before dissolving into a white light. This drawing represents a step in the preparation of the composition and then the architectural setting of an altarpiece. While neither this work nor its commission has been identified, its importance can be gathered from the care of this study, and its possibly French destination from the crest of the Rochelle family at the top of a second study.