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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Italy: Rome, the Vatican. Record drawing of grotesque panels showing figures, human and mythological, with four classical medallions of different shapes in relief, with a narrow border of more grotesque decoration.
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image Adam vol.26/4

Reference number

Adam vol.26/4

Purpose

Italy: Rome, the Vatican. Record drawing of grotesque panels showing figures, human and mythological, with four classical medallions of different shapes in relief, with a narrow border of more grotesque decoration.

Aspect

Elevation

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand 2

Signed and dated

Undated, probably 1760 - 63

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, pen, watercolour 562 x 214, horizontal central foldline

Hand

Giuseppe Manocchi (attributed to)

Notes

This drawing is part of a set numbered in a contemporary hand from 1 to 10 (see Adam vol.26/3-12; also related is the drawing in Adam vol.26/14 and another group in Adam vol.26/186-200). All the drawings in this set of ten are for the top half of the pilaster decoration, and all share the same paper, original central foldline and draughtsmanship, attributed to Giuseppe Manocchi (c.1731-82). This drawing is related to the Ottaviani print of pilaster 2 of Giovanni da Udine's work on the Vatican logge. There are differences in the detail of the grotesque decoration and the subjects of the medallions do not correspond, nor are they similar to the related panels (see N. Dacros, Le Logge di Raffaello, Rome, 1986, pp.263-5). There is a more accurate version of this pilaster in Adam vol.26/6, less so in Adam vol.26/14; there is also a freer version of the top section in the Clerisseau collection in the Hermitage (see Charles-Louis Clérisseau (1721-1820) Dessins du musée de l'Ermitage Saint-Petersbourg, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1995, 103, pl.15). The side strip of grotesque work is unlike that given by Ottaviani for pilaster 2.
The decoration of the Vatican logge appeared as engravings between 1772 - 1777 in three parts: Logge di Rafaele nel Vaticano (1772), Seconda Parte delle Logge di Rafaele nel Vaticano (1776) and Terza ed Ultima Parte delle Logge di Rafaele nel Vaticano (1777). Work on the project of recording was begun in 1760 and was more or less completed by 1768. The principal artists involved were the painter Gaetano Savorelli (d.1791) and the architect Pietro Camporesi (1726-81), and the engraver was Giovanni Ottaviani (1735-1808). The third volume was engraved by Giovanni Volpato (1733-1803), after drawings by Ludovico Tesio (1731-82).
The numerous drawings that Manocchi made of the Vatican decoration at this time would suggest that he was the draughtsman of this series (Adam vol.26/3-12), especially in view of James Adam's reference to 'My arabesque' of 1763. There is another incomplete set of 12 logge drawings in Sir John Soane's Museum Soane volume SM 130, also in Manocchi's hand, which may too have had an Adam provenance. According to Fuhring, there are Manocchi drawings for the Raphael logge in the Berlin Kunstbibliothek that may be c.1755 (see P. Fuhring, Design into Art, Drawings for Architecture and Ornament, 2 vols., London, 1989, I, pp.59-60). There are also several unfinished logge compositions in album four of the Hardwick drawings in the RIBA (see 4.12-14, 21). These have a lettered colour key and some have the note 'non, Fecci due pichole / none fatto' , which indicates their provisional role. There were at least two sets of logge prints in the Adam sales, lot 58 in the first day of the 1818 sale and lot 124 in the first day of the 1821 sale (see A. Bolton, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols., London, 1922, II, pp.330, 335). Like Nicolas-Francoise-David Lhuiller (d.1793), Manocchi was connected with Charles-Louis Clérisseau and there are several Manocchi copies in the Hermitage, St Petersburg (see Charles-Louis Clérisseau (1721-1820) Dessins du musée de l'Ermitage Saint-Petersbourg, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1995, p.92).

Level

Drawing

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