Ludovico Carracci (Italian, Bolognese, 15551619)
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache and cream color oil paint over some black chalk underdrawing; Sheet: 22 3/8 x 13 5/8 in. (56.8 x 34.6 cm)
Rogers Fund and Gift of Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Family, 2002 (2002.33)
This dazzling drawing by Ludovico is a new discovery, the only securely attributed study for his famed early altarpiece for the Church of San Francesco in Bologna (now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna). In the drawing, as in the painting, the use of diagonals that lead into the space, the cropping of forms, the agitated movement, and the visionary lighting all lend immediacy to the drama of the momentand testify to the emergence of the Baroque style. A study for the effects of light in the painting, the drawing differs from the finished altarpiece in a number of details. The beams of heavenly light, for example, created here by wiping the aqueous white highlights with a sponge or cloth, were omitted from the painting.