The Angel of the Annunciation (Cartoon for an Embroidery)

Artist: Raffaellino del Garbo (also known as Raffaelle de' Capponi and Raffaelle de' Carli) (Italian, Florence 1466?–1524 Florence)

Date: 1466–1524

Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, over black chalk on paper washed brown; outlines of design and framing outlines pricked and with traces of rubbed black pouncing dust

Dimensions: Diameter: 3 13/16 in. (9.7 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1912

Accession Number: 12.56.5a

Description

A master designer for embroideries in the Renaissance, Raffaellino del Garbo was a pupil of Filippino Lippi (ca. 1457-1504) and a gifted draftsman. Purchased by the Museum in New York in 1912 as a work by Filippino Lippi , this delicate pricked cartoon (full-scale drawing) was one of many made by Raffaellino as models for embroidered figures: the inner and outer contour lines of this study were in fact carefully pricked for transfer. Garzelli (1973) identified a badly damaged embroideredd fragment with the archangel of the Annunciation and a composition similar to that of the present drawing on a chasuble at the collegiate church of San Martino at Pietrasanta. Although the physical evidence confirms that this sheet was a highly functional working drawing, a number of small differences in design suggest that it was not directly used to produce the Pietrasanta embroidery. It seems possible that Raffaellino produced at least few variations on the Annunciate-angel type –given the popularity of the Annunciation in Renaissance textiles as well as his extensive use of spolvero-based techniques of design reproduction in his countless extant drawings.

The figural type and the delicacy of line and white gouache heightening are typical of Raffaellino's drawings and reflect the impact of his master Filippino Lippino, especially his tondos of 1483-84 in the Museo Civico of San Gimignano and his 'Adoration of the Chirst' of about 1495-97 in the Alte Pinakothek of Munich - paintings that probably date more than twenty years earlier than Raffaellino's small sheet.

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