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Italian Drawings 1400-1600

Straight to

Author: Sandra Kisters, Director of Collections and Research

Between 2018 and 2023 the early Italian drawings in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen were systematically researched and individually described by two successive curators, in collaboration with an international group of experts. They were joined by two fellows and a research assistant thanks to substantial financial support from the Getty Foundation as part of the ambitious grants initiative The Paper Project – Prints and Drawings Curatorship in the 21st Century.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen holds one of the world’s most important drawing collections, essentially reflecting the whole of western art history from the late Middle Ages to the present day. The fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian drawings are now available to study online for the first time thanks to this online collection catalogue. There have, of course, been regular publications about the highlights of the collection, including drawings by the most famous artists such as Pisanello, Giorgione, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, and these works have also been shown in exhibitions. Now, however, we are able to bring wider attention to the less well-known, but certainly no less fine or interesting, drawings by other artists. The following chapters outline the history of the collection with a spotlight on the private collectors who previously had the drawings in their possession.

The effort put into this Boijmans-Getty project has reanimated our museum over the last four and a half years. The two successive fellows and the research assistant, together with the curators, conducted the scholarly research and drafted most of the object descriptions. The grant also provided scope for rephotographing all the drawings, making study trips to Florence, Paris and London, and for seven external authors from several universities and museums to take a number of drawings relevant to their own research areas under their wing. Three expert meetings were organized, attended by the authors and other experts, where issues such as attribution and iconographic interpretation were discussed. The far-reaching restrictions on travel and face-to-face contact imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that only the first expert meeting could be held in the temporary prints and drawings depository in The Hague. The two subsequent meetings were conducted online, but the professional synergy during these digital events did not suffer from this new format. Finally, in May 2022, a final symposium was held in person at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen.

The publication of this online catalogue not only marks the end of the research project but also the departure of senior curator Albert Elen, who retired in May 2022 after twenty years at the museum. The creation of this catalogue of the early Italian drawings was one of his long-held desires. Rosie Razzall took over as his successor in the last year of the project. Previously she was a curator at the Royal Collection in Windsor Castle and has considerable expertise in the field of Italian drawings. She wrote dozens of entries for the catalogue and took on a substantial portion of the final editing.

Sjarel Ex also left the museum in 2022 after eighteen dedicated years as its director. In his view, the Boijmans-Getty research project, as a follow-up to the cataloguing of the early Dutch drawings (2008-12), was a splendid example of the museum’s scholarly function in tandem with an ambitious exhibition programme and important acquisitions.

Author: Albert Elen

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection contains just over 1000 drawings by Italian artists dating from the end of the fourteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth. For the scope of this catalogue, we have included a total of 382 drawings from the early period, which we define as artists who were born before 1575. In addition, we have included two books of drawings: the Koenigs Drawing Book (St 331), which contains 50 pages, some left blank on one side, and the Gozzoli Album (I 562), with 20 drawings pasted in. The 401 sheets in the two Gabburri Albums, mostly with drawings by Fra Bartolommeo, are not included in the present catalogue. Around 280 drawings belong to the later period (artists born after 1575) and are yet to be catalogued. Most of the drawings from the early period, and those from the subsequent one (the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), were acquired in 1935 with the collection of Franz Koenigs (1881-1941), initially on loan from this collector and since 1940 on permanent loan from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation.

While Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection of Italian drawings is certainly important on an international level, it is not exceptional, apart from the large number of drawings by Fra Bartolommeo. There are more extensive collections elsewhere, especially in the Uffizi (Florence), the Albertina (Vienna), the British Museum (London), the Royal Collection (Windsor) and the Louvre (Paris). Within the Netherlands, the Rotterdam collection of Italian drawings is in the same league as that of Teylers Museum in Haarlem (1,710 sheets) and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (698 sheets). These three collections complement each other well, such that the ‘Collectie Nederland’ (Dutch public art holdings) as a whole includes a representative collection of Italian drawings of excellent quality.1 For instance, Fra Bartolommeo, Pisanello, Tintoretto and Veronese are well represented among the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen drawings, whereas there are no drawings by these artists in Teylers Museum. The collection there stands out because of the relatively large numbers of drawings by Raphael and Michelangelo, while Rotterdam has only one and three sheets respectively.

Collection History from 1849 to 1935

Until 1935, 86 years after it was founded, Museum Boymans did not have a print room of international significance. The original prints collection of 3,364 separate sheets and 18 bound volumes from the bequest of Frans Boymans (1767-1847) was completely destroyed in the disastrous museum fire in the Schielandshuis during the night of 15 to 16 February 1864 (fig. 1).2 The prints collection had been built up again after the fire, but it remained solely of national, rather than international importance until 1951.3 On the other hand, around half of the relatively small collection of drawings, approximately 3,000 sheets by mainly Dutch artists, had escaped the fire; 18 of the 31 portfolios were rescued from the building. The visible water damage to some sheets still testifies to the sad fate of a large part of the drawings collection.4 The extremely concise 1852 collection catalogue includes 347 drawings by the ‘Italian school’, whereas the 1869 edition, published after the fire, records just twenty-eight sheets, and they too were described only very briefly. The sheets that perished included drawings by, for example, Cambiaso (8), Canaletto (9), Annibale Carracci (7), Guercino (12), Michelangelo (2), Novelli (16), Palma Giovane (10), Palmieri (21), Pannini (7), Polidoro da Caravaggio (19), Raphael (3), Reni (4), Veronese (5), Federico Zuccaro (4) and Taddeo Zuccaro (6). The quality and authenticity of these lost drawings cannot be established, however, because of the absence of photographic documentation.5 If we use the standard of the Boijmans drawings from this and other schools that have survived as a benchmark, we can assume that there were few works of quality and significance among the Italian drawings burned in the fire.

Fig. 1. Cornelis van der Griendt, 'The Devastating Fire of the Schielandhuis in 1864', pen and brush in black ink, grey and red wash, heightened with white, 300 x 210 mm, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (inv. MB 461)

Approximately half the Italian drawings that were saved in 1864 are from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, of which only seven sheets are of any importance. At that time they were still listed as Dutch or anonymous, and because of this were spared from the fire: two by Gozzoli (MB 976 and MB 977, both considered to be works by Rogier van der Weyden), one from the school of Mantegna (MB 945, as Quinten Matsys), a drawing by Federico Zuccaro (MB 1745 recto and verso, as Goltzius) and a coherent group of four drawings by Andrea Boscoli (MB 954-957, as Hans Weinher). The other eleven drawings were made in the eighteenth century (Bartolozzi, Bibiena and Cades), and are of less interest.

The museum had been well insured, and after the fire it received a substantial payment. Fortunately, this did not disappear into the coffers of the city council, which was always thrifty when it came to cultural matters. The museum was able to use the money to rebuild the decimated collection to a certain extent with new purchases, although of course these were not just drawings. Many acquisitions were made in the years after 1864, but these almost exclusively concerned Dutch art. The small group of Italian drawings that had survived the 1864 fire had to wait a further sixty years for reinforcements. It was not until 1923 that this group was supplemented with 56 drawings, 32 of them from the 1400-1600 period, that were in the collection of Dr A.J. Domela Nieuwenhuis (1850-1935) (fig. 2).6 In 1895, he purchased a large number of drawings at the auction of objects owned by the Vienna-Dresden collector Boguslaw Jolles (died 1912) in Munich, where the latter resided. The drawings, most of which bear Jolles’s collector’s mark (L.381), have generally been considered of little interest and therefore the majority have remained unpublished until now. The drawings and prints in this major donation can be recognized from their inventory numbers, which begin with DN.

Fig. 2. Jan Toorop, 'Portrait of Dr. A.J. Domela Nieuwenhuis', 1924, pencil, black chalk, heightened with white, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (inv. JTT 7)

The Koenigs Collection

Museum Boymans moved into its new building at the beginning of Mathenesserlaan in 1935. It contained spaces for the storage, consultation and exhibition of drawings and prints. This was probably in anticipation of further donations of prints by the collector J.C. Bierens de Haan (1867-1951) and a substantial loan of some 2,670 drawings by Franz Koenigs. In 1934 the leading London art historian Tancred Borenius (1885-1948) wrote, ‘The collection of Old Master drawings formed by M. Franz Koenigs of Haarlem represents easily the most distinguished performance in this field of collecting realized in recent years.’ This comment was prompted by the publication of a deluxe portfolio of facsimiles of the best Venetian drawings in the Koenigs Collection, about which he added, ‘an anthology in which quality most emphatically makes up for quantity’.7 In 1921 the German merchant banker Koenigs moved from his native city of Cologne to Haarlem, where he settled into a mansion just outside the city centre with his young family. The building had to be extended only five years later in order to accommodate his rapidly growing drawings collection.8 In 1931 he was forced to take out a large bank loan because of the deteriorating economic situation. He transferred his drawings collection in fiduciary ownership, plus some paintings, to the bank as security. This security was formalized in 1935 and the collection was moved to Museum Boymans’s new building in order to make it accessible to academics (via research) and the general public (via exhibitions). Overnight the museum held a virtually comprehensive drawings collection of global stature.

The successful businessman Koenigs (fig. 3) acquired most of his substantial drawings collection between 1922 and 1931. His ambition was to build up an encyclopaedic collection of drawings by all the most important artists, from all schools and all periods, from late fourteenth-century anonymous Italian drawings to watercolours by Cézanne. Koenigs owned 394 early Italian sheets (of which 75 are now in Moscow, as discussed below). Among them are rare drawings of the highest quality from Pisanello to Barocci, focusing primarily on the Florentine and Venetian Renaissance. There are no fewer than 401 sheets with 505 drawings by Fra Bartolommeo. These drawings were acquired in 1729 by the leading Florentine collector Cavaliere Francesco Maria Niccolò Gabburri (1676-1742), who mounted them into two luxurious albums.9 Koenigs purchased the albums in 1923 from the grand ducal Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach collection. The importance of this large number of drawings by Fra Bartolommeo was recognized worldwide at an early stage, and they were widely published, initially by Von Zahn (1870), followed by Knapp (1903) and Von der Gabelentz (1922). Several years ago, a selection of 120 sheets was shown in the exhibition Fra Bartolommeo: De goddelijke Renaissance/The Divine Renaissance (Rotterdam 2016). All of the Fra Bartolommeo drawings are due to be published in a catalogue raisonné by Chris Fischer in 2024. As a result, this collection catalogue does not include them, apart from a small number of representative examples. They have, however, all been included in the Collection Online.

Fig. 3. The married couple Franz and Anna Koenigs, c.1915

In 1934 the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam staged the first exhibition of Italian art held in the Netherlands. Franz Koenigs was the most generous lender with 123 of the 261 drawings. The other half of the loans came from Teylers Museum (44), Frits Lugt (43), J.Q. van Regteren Altena (21), Bernhard Houthakker (4), the Leiden Print Room (4), Museum Boymans (4), Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina (3) and the Rijksmuseum (1). This list shows why the arrival of the Koenigs Collection in 1935 was a dream of an acquisition for the newly rehoused Museum Boymans, even though for the time being it was a long-term private loan.

The drawings from the Koenigs Collection make a substantial imprint on the current collection catalogue because of their number and their superior quality. The collection includes, for example, one of the only two autograph drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Netherlands (I 466), the only drawing generally accepted to be by Giorgione (I 485), the famous Gozzoli Album (I 562), seven drawings from a series of Christ’s Passion attributed to Zanobi Strozzi (I 234-240) and thirteen extremely rare drawings by the early Renaissance artist Pisanello and his workshop, dating from the second quarter of the fifteenth century (I 109, I 178, I 186, I 518-527). The aforementioned drawings in Rotterdam make the holdings one of the most important collections from the quattrocento (Italian fifteenth-century art and culture) outside Italy. Relatively few drawings from this earliest period of the modern age have in fact survived, they appear only rarely on the market and even then, most of them are not of this high quality.

Italian drawings make up most of the Koenigs Collection, and the Venetian works are the largest group. It is mentioned in the introduction to the standard work The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries, written by the German art historians Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat while exiled in New York during the Second World War and published there in 1944. The couple had studied them between 1935 and 1940 in Rotterdam and had photographs that they donated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their standard work covers 2,267 Venetian drawings worldwide, 115 of which are from the Koenigs Collection, in other words some five percent of the total.10 Koenigs greatly admired the powerful, dynamic drawing style of Jacopo Tintoretto, evidenced by the relatively large number of drawings by the Venetian master (35)11 and his son and successor Domenico (7) in his collection, although as far back as 1944 the Tietzes deemed some of them to be the work of pupils. Attributions have also been amended in more recent literature, as a result of which 27 autograph sheets remain.12 Koenigs acquired many of the Tintoretto drawings in 1926, when he purchased the D’Adda Album (discussed below), and a few more in 1929 that were in the Italian drawings collection of the German art dealer Julius W. Böhler (1860-1934). The Koenigs Collection also contains a relatively large number of drawings by Paolo Veronese, his son Carletto Caliari and his nephew Benedetto Caliari (25), including autograph work and drawings by pupils. Tintoretto and Veronese were among the most sought-after artists in Venice. They therefore had large workshops, with pupils and assistants who worked closely together and produced a substantial number of paintings, either as separate canvases or as components of large-scale decorations in palaces, fraternities and churches. Drawing was an important element in both the learning process and the creative preparation of the paintings. Drawings were not intended to be independent artworks. They had a practical and an instructional function, so they were not signed. They were often used as examples for pupils to extend their drawing skills – in other words not copied – so the difference between original and imitation is often difficult to establish.

The Koenigs Collection also contains many drawings of lesser quality. Koenigs was not known as a connoisseur himself. He simply did not have the time to become one given the demands of his work. He was therefore very dependent on the expertise of the art trade, which needless to say was linked to commercial interests. Sometimes he purchased composite lots at auction, which contained unwanted chaff along with the wheat. Koenigs furthermore died at a relatively young age, as a result of a disastrous train accident, and consequently he never got round to an essential element of collecting, namely selecting and disposing of lesser works in order to enhance the quality of the collection, and filling gaps with new purchases. Two obvious copies of parts of Tintoretto’s painting The Adoration of the Golden Calf (I 229 and I 547), are striking examples of bad buys. The latter dates from the second half of the seventeenth century and is probably not even Italian. Apparently Koenigs and his advisors were not always able to distinguish between good and bad, despite the availability of so many authentic drawings by Tintoretto in the collection to enable stylistic comparisons.

Although Koenigs had bought drawings and paintings by French Impressionists, including watercolours by Paul Cézanne, since his time as an intern in Paris at the beginning of the century, he did not start seriously collecting old master drawings until he settled in Haarlem in 1921. In 1923 the Berlin art dealer Paul Cassirer (1871-1926), who specialized in the work of Cézanne and Van Gogh and with whom Koenigs had done business for some time, opened a branch on Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. He did that because of the deteriorating conditions on the German art market and also to provide his most important client, whose office was nearby, with the best possible service. From the outset the branch was run by the German art historian Dr Helmuth Lütjens (1893-1987), who around 1928 began to maintain a card system and a typescript inventory of the Koenigs Collection. Between 1923 and 1925 Koenigs formed, and invested in, an alliance with the art dealers Böhler in Lucerne and P. & D. Colnaghi in London. The objective was to purchase drawings and paintings jointly. He had first choice of the acquisitions and shared in the profits. In 1923 Koenigs also bought some drawings from Böhler’s own collection and, through the latter’s mediation, he purchased the two prestigious Gabburri Albums and nine separate drawings by other famous artists, including Correggio, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, from the grand-ducal Von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach collection.13 These albums and separate drawings were previously in the collections of Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) and later on of King William II of the Netherlands (1792-1849). At the sale of William II’s collection in 1850 they remained unsold or were purchased by William II’s daughter, Princess Sophie, Grand-Duchess of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach.

Koenigs sometimes bought drawings in large numbers at the same time, taking advantage of the huge volumes put up for sale at auctions in the 1920s. On occasion, entire private collections went under the hammer. He seldom attended these sales in person, and instead had himself represented by art dealers such as Leo Blumenreich (1884-1932), Nicolaas Beets (1878-1963) and J.Q. van Regteren Altena (1899-1980). Through the mediation of Beets, at the beginning of February 1928, he purchased 44 drawings, most of them Italian, including no fewer than 24 sheets by Jacopo Tintoretto, from the heirs of the late art dealer Attilio Simonetti (1843-1925) in Rome.14 He paid the then substantial sum of 54,100 guilders. The year before, Koenigs had purchased thirty drawings from an unknown source and probably in one single transaction. They came from the substantial drawings collection (more than 8,000 drawings in 59 albums and 17 portfolios) of the Venetian collector Zaccaria Sagredo (1653-1729), who had inherited some from his father and grandfather and had purchased the rest en bloc in 1727 from the Bolognese Bonfiglioli family.15 From 1743 onwards this collection, which had already been largely inventoried, was sold in several parts. The drawings were removed from the albums and became widely distributed. The inventory numbers – a classification code in letters with a serial number – were written on the versos of the drawings, which made them identifiable. The sheets acquired by Koenigs are mostly by northern Italian artists, in particular from Venice, primarily Palma Giovane and members of the Bassano and Caliari (Veronese) families.16 There are also other cases where it is not known how or from whom Koenigs made important purchases. For example, in 1926 he acquired 28 drawings by sixteenth-century Venetian artists, including a further 13 by Jacopo Tintoretto, which came from a small album compiled in the 1630s and 1640s by the Milan nobleman Francesco II D’Adda (died 1641).17 Likewise the purchase of the Gozzoli Album, which came from the Biblioteca Trivulziana of the Trivulzio princes in Turin. It is known that this noble family had been disposing of parts of its collection for some time before donating the rest to the city of Milan during the 1930s. This was probably also the source of the illuminated book of hours in the estate of Koenigs’s children that was sold in 2001 to the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague, and possibly also of the early Italian drawing book that was bought for the museum in 2016 from the heirs of another of Koenigs’s daughters (St. 331). Sadly, we do not know the precise details of how Koenigs bought these books containing drawings, but it is clear that he was well-known all over Europe as a wealthy, decisive and insatiable collector, so vendors felt free to contact him directly or through an intermediary.

The disastrous stock market crash of 1929 was Koenigs’s last successful year of collecting. In April, 29 drawings were bought for Koenigs at the Bateson sale in London, representing ten percent of all those put up for auction. That same year he purchased en bloc no fewer than 110 sheets, mostly Italian, from the art dealer Julius W. Böhler’s private collection.18 Before the end of the year he also acquired four Italian drawings from the Paris collector Émile-Maurice Marignane (1879-1956). At the beginning of 1930 Koenigs bought a further six or seven sheets from Frits Lugt (1884-1970) that came from the Moscardo Collection in Verona via the Florence art dealer Luigi Grassi (1858-1937).19 Finally, among his purchases in 1931 were two drawings by Willem Buytewech and one by Rembrandt from the collection of Cornelis Hofstede de Groot (1863-1930).20 In that year the financial situation became so precarious for Koenigs that he was obliged to take out a substantial loan, for which he transferred his drawing collection and several dozen paintings as security.21 Needless to say there was no publicity. It goes without saying that no further major art purchases were made, but for the time being the collection remained where it was, with the collector in his home.

To its surprise, the museum did not find out until it had acquired the Koenigs Collection on loan in 1935 that it served as security for the bank loan. It was offered for sale in 1939 when the Lisser & Rosenkranz bank announced it was going into liquidation and Koenigs could not or would not pay off his debt.22 The collection was in danger of falling apart and both the collector and the museum tried to find a solution that would keep it for the museum. Fortunately, just before the German invasion of the Netherlands, it proved possible to purchase the collection in its entirety from the bank. The buyer was the Rotterdam collector and patron of Museum Boymans, the port magnate D.G. (Daniël George) van Beuningen (1877-1955) (fig. 4). Before the formal donation to the museum foundation at the end of 1940 he sold about twenty percent of it (507 drawings) to the Germans, who earmarked them for the planned Führer Museum in Linz. This asset transaction with the occupying force was prohibited by law and the claim to title of the sold drawings reverted to the Dutch State. In 1941 the Germans moved the drawings to Dresden and stored them temporarily with the local museum collections, which were later concentrated in Schloss Pillnitz on the Elbe. In 1945 they were seized there by the Soviet Army and taken, along with other spoils of war, to Moscow, where they disappeared into the secret depots of the Pushkin Museum. It was not until 1992 that 308 of the Koenigs drawings missing since 1941, including all 114 Italian sheets, were rediscovered there and then claimed as a matter of law by the Dutch State.23 Sadly, thirty years later, the drawings have still not been restituted to the Netherlands by Russia, so the 75 early Italian drawings among the sheets concerned could not be included in this research.24 They have, however, been added to the Collection Online, but only with the basic information and images taken from old publications or glass-plate negatives.

fig. 4. D.G. van Beuningen

After 1931 Koenigs purchased items unobtrusively now and again, such as two drawings by Vittore Carpaccio at the sale of the collection of Henry Oppenheimer (1859-1932) in London in 1936. They became part of what we now call the ‘Second Koenigs Collection’, which consists primarily of drawings that were not among the works transferred in 1931 as security for his loan. Besides drawings, this collection also contained paintings, sculptures and furniture. Later on it was inherited by his wife and thereafter by their children.25 In April 1940 Koenigs expressed his happiness about the fact that his former drawing collection had remained intact by gifting the museum the two aforementioned Carpaccio drawings, which he considered to be an essential supplement to the Venetian school.26

Acquisitions since 1945

Since the Second World War, little has been done to expand the collection of Italian drawings. The collection was already of a very high standard and the museum’s purchasing budget, which was not very generous, was intended for collecting in a range of areas. There have consequently been only limited acquisitions. Since 1940 the inventory numbers of new drawings contain the year acquired (‘MB year/T serial number’), which usually makes it easy to recognize post-war acquisitions.27 In 1958, near the end of his term as curator (1950-1959), Egbert Haverkamp Begemann purchased a landscape drawing by Fra Bartolommeo that came from the Gabburri Landscape Album, which had recently been taken apart in the art trade. Most leading print rooms in the world bought one or more sheets for their collections.28 The Rotterdam acquisition (MB 1958/T 1) was made to supplement the exclusively figurative drawings by this artist in the two Gabburri Albums. That same year the museum acquired two Italian drawings, by Matteo Rosselli and Federico Zuccaro, with the arrival of the collection of D.G. van Beuningen, who died in 1955 (MB 1958/T 34 and T 35). Another eighteen years passed before a drawing by Ventura Salimbeni (MB 1976/T 12) was purchased during the curatorship of A.W.F.M (Bram) Meij (in service from 1967 to 2003). Over a decade later he bought a further two drawings by Cavaliere d’Arpino (MB 1989/T 4) and Bernardo Castello (MB 1990/T 4). In 2011, senior curator Albert Elen (in service from 2002 to 2021), who specialized in early Italian drawings, bought a drawing by Antonio Maria Viani (MB 2011/T 1). This was followed in 2016 by a fifteenth-century Italian drawing book from the Second Koenigs Collection (St. 331) and two years after that by a separate sheet from a Florentine manuscript illustrated with drawings from around 1390 (MB 2018/T 24). Finally it was also possible to purchase a representative drawing by Paolo Farinati (MB 2019/T 45), which filled another gap.

Attributions and Deattributions

The last three-quarters of a century have seen various new attributions and also deattributions of works by well-known artists, primarily during the research for the present collection catalogue. As a result, some unpublished and therefore still unknown drawings were upgraded while others, because they are no longer considered to be autograph works or have been attributed to a less famous artist, were downgraded. The former group includes an anonymous drawing (I 261) that had previously been described as ‘Bolognese school, end 16th century’ and stored away with second-rate works. It has now been attributed to Federico Zuccaro because of the functional relationship with one of his paintings.

The latter category contains a drawing (I 201) with an impressive provenance (successively the well-known British collectors Richardson, Hudson, Reynolds and Lawrence) that had traditionally been considered as belonging to Raphael’s oeuvre. Its authenticity had been disputed for some considerable time, however, with the result that it is now classified as ‘School of Raphael’. A drawing that had been attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto (I 226) is now deemed to be the work of his Flemish contemporary Bartholomeus Spranger and is therefore outside the scope of this collection catalogue. The same applies, for example, to I 284 (late fifteenth century, northern Italian, now attributed to Giuseppe de Ribera), MB 934 (attributed to Polidoro da Caravaggio or Giulio Romano, now considered to be Italian nineteenth century), I 250 (north Italian c.1500, now attributed to Jörg Breu), I 332 (anonymous Italian sixteenth century, now dated as c.1800), I 111 (G.B. Naldini, now Spanish or Italian nineteenth century) and I 174 (anonymous copy after Michelangelo, now as a copy attributed to Jacopo Vignali).

One of the new attributions concerns the Study for the Archangel Gabriel in the Annunciation (I 265), a drawing that had been attributed to both Andrea del Sarto and Giovanni Battista Naldini, but was attributed verbally to Jacopo Pontormo by Hugo Chapman (British Museum); this was endorsed during the first expert meeting in October 2019 by Catherine Monbeig Goguel (Louvre).29 There were furthermore three new attributions to Federico Zuccaro (I 261, MB 1745 recto-verso, MB 1958/T 35) by Surya Stemerding (Boijmans-Getty fellow)30 and one to Correggio (I 429) by Mary Vaccaro (University of Texas).

Jewels in the Crown

The real masterpieces in the collection of early Italian drawings are the works that have run the gauntlet of assessment by contemporary experts, and passed with flying colours. They include Pisanello’s Four Studies of a Female Nude (I 520), Carpaccio’s Head of a Bearded Man (MB 1940/T 8), Pontormo’s well-known red chalk drawing Two Seated Young Men (I 117), Fra Bartolommeo’s hundreds of figure studies in the two Gabburri Albums (I 563), Correggio’s Study for 'The Coronation of the Virgin’ and other studies for fresco decorations in Parma (I 381, I 288-291), Primaticcio’s Ulysses and Telemachus on Their Way to Laertes (I 297), Parmigianino’s Profile Portrait of Valerio Belli (I 392), Barocci’s Study for the Dead Christ in the Altarpiece 'The Entombment' (I 428), Michelangelo’s double-sided sheet with studies for parts of The Battle of Cascina in Palazzo Vecchio (I 513 recto) and for the fresco The Drunkenness of Noah in the Sistine Chapel (I 513 verso) and Raphael’s Study for the Kneeling Infant St John in 'The Alba Madonna’ (I 110). This group is headed by the most frequently published Rotterdam drawings: Leda and the Swan by Leonardo da Vinci (I 466) and View of Castel San Zeno by Giorgione (I 485). The latter, moreover, is the only drawing anywhere in the world that is generally accepted to be an autograph work by this artist.

Author: Albert Elen

Franz Koenigs, whose collection has formed the core of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s drawings collection since 1935, was an important exponent of collecting, which started to develop as an activity as long ago as the sixteenth century. A number of major drawing collectors preceded Koenigs and most of them literally left their tracks, adding collectors’ marks to their sheets; in some cases others did so on their behalf after the collector had died. The renowned drawings collector Sir Thomas Lawrence, a British court painter famous primarily for his many portraits, is a well-known example. After his death the drawings in his collection were blind stamped on the front lower left with the initials TL (L.2445). This was often done so unobtrusively – with little force applied, sometimes with the more conspicuous mark (in ink) of another collector close by or hidden in the composition – that it has only recently been noticed, as is the case with I 498. Koenigs’s drawings were also stamped with his collector’s mark before they were loaned in 1935 (L.1023a) in order to differentiate them from the drawings already in the museum with which they would be intermingled, and which were classified by school and artist. This was probably done by Koenigs’s wife or Helmuth Lütjens. Koenigs’s mark, his initials FK in a horizontal oval, was consistently placed at lower left on the back of each sheet, stamped in brown ink. The tin of ink and the stamp have survived (fig.).

Unfortunately, some of the collectors’ marks sometimes disappeared later on, for example when an old backing sheet or a mount that bore the stamp was removed for conservation purposes in the museum, as was the case with two drawings by Benozzo Gozzoli (MB 976 and MB 977). Usually fragments like this were kept in an envelope in the new mount, but sadly sometimes not.

A collector’s mark is an important source of information about a drawing’s provenance, particularly if it is also accompanied by notes written by the collector or the individual to whom care for the work had been entrusted, as was the case with the London artist Jonathan Richardson Sr (1667-1745, L.2992), who described the collection of Lord John Somers (1650-1715) at the beginning of the eighteenth century and who mounted Somers’s drawings individually on mounts with nice cadres.31 Somers had purchased his collection en bloc from the heir of Giovanni Matteo Marchetti (1647-1704), Bishop of Arezzo. There were 16 albums containing over 3,000 drawings that were originally compiled by the Milanese drawings collector and connoisseur Padre Sebastiano Resta (1635-1714) for Marchetti in Rome. Resta had described the collection in detail with great expertise and Richardson adopted those descriptions for Somers and copied them on the backs of the new mounts together with a classification system that indicated where the sheets were kept at that time. Richardson first had taken the Resta albums apart, and then mounted the individual drawings separately, wrote the letter of the album concerned and the serial number of each drawing at the bottom on the front. We therefore know that the famous Giorgione drawing (I 485) designated as ‘k. 44’, the drawing by Donatello (I 367) designated as ‘g. 38’ and an anonymous Venetian drawing dating from around 1500 (I 200) as ‘k. 34’ were once in the Resta albums G and K.

fig. 5. Tin of ink and stamp with the initials of Franz Koenigs

Such notes are also regarded as collector’s marks, in this case of Lord John Somers, without them having been stamped (L.2981). Richardson was also a collector, as was his son and namesake (L.2170). He placed his own mark (L.2183 or L.2184) at lower right on all his drawings. These sheets were spread far and wide after the sale of his estate in 1747, but thanks to his marks they remained recognizable as having come from his collection. Richardson also mounted his own drawings on sheets with cadres and kept them loose in albums. He often wrote the (putative) artist’s name on the mount below the drawing (L.2995, L.2996), on the reverse sometimes the subjects too (L.2993, L.2994) and the codes of the location (shelf marks, L.2983, L.2984). Later on, all these annotations were described as separate collectors’ marks by Frits Lugt in his Marques de collections (1921, 1956, and online). Some drawings are still on Richardson’s original mounts, such as I 278, I 337 and I 449, while others have been trimmed by later collectors, for example two of the aforementioned Resta drawings and the recently acquired sheet from an illustrated Florentine manuscript (MB 2018/T 24).

The leading Paris art dealer and collector Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694-1774) is another well-known example of a major collector who left his footprint on his drawings. He put a tiny mark on them (L.1852) and mounted the sheets on distinctive deep blue mounts. These mounts are still present in some cases because the drawings were stuck fast to them and removing them is difficult. The collection in Rotterdam includes six drawings, including I 467 and I 468, which had been mounted together, but got separated and are now on the loose halves of a Mariette mount.32 They are all included in the standard work on Mariette’s collection that was recently published by Pierre Rosenberg (2019). Collectors’ marks and old mounts like those used by Somers and Mariette give old master drawings quite literally a cachet, and consequently add cultural and economic value. These days they are never removed, which sadly was all too often the case in the past.

Provided they do not mar the composition, the more collectors’ marks there are the better, preferably placed unobtrusively and ideally on the verso. The early Florentine drawing dating from around 1390 (MB 2018/T 24) is a fine example of a ‘collection’ of collectors’ marks on a single sheet. There are the following collectors’ marks on the (current) verso: Jonathan Richardson Sr (1665-1745, L.2183 lower right below the innermost cadre line); John Barnard (1685-1764, L.1420 lower right on the mount); Benjamin West (1783-1820, L.419 blind stamp lower left on the innermost cadre line); August Grahl (1791-1868, L.1199 lower right on the innermost cadre); an unknown collector (not in Lugt, vague imprint lower left of Grahl’s mark).

In the present collection catalogue the collectors’ marks on a drawing are listed under the heading ‘Mark’ in the object information in brackets after the collector’s names in chronological order. The same names are of course also noted under the heading ‘Provenance’, where the successive owners and sale data of each drawing until its acquisition by the museum, are listed in so far as known.

The Museum’s Marks and Its Most Important Drawing Collectors

All twelve of the museum’s marks are in Lugt Online. Of these, only the earliest one is of interest for this collection catalogue. No marks have been added since 1940.

Added in or after 1852 on the drawings from the collection of F.J.O. Boijmans. Present on the Italian drawings that escaped from the 1864 fire, for example MB 945 verso.

Lugt Online
Museum Boijmans (L.1857), stamp, green or blue ink, 14 x 11 mm, on the verso.

Marks of the two most important collectors of Italian drawings:

Probably added just before they were loaned to the museum in 1935. The stamp and tin of brown ink have survived (fig.). Present on approximately half of the Italian drawings in this collection catalogue, for example I 27 verso.

Lugt Online
Franz Koenigs (L.1023a), stamp, brown ink, 5.5 x 10 mm, on the verso, lower left.

Present on 56 of the Italian drawings in this collection catalogue, for example DN 1946/267 recto and DN 202/99 verso.

Lugt Online
Dr A.J. Domela Nieuwenhuis (L.356b), stamp, purple ink, 6 x 6 mm, mostly lower right on the verso, sometimes lower right on the recto, sometimes twice, occasionally four times (DN 113/10 verso).

Any technical information relating to the paper and the watermark (or a fragment of it, if present) is included in the individual object information, together with references to watermark manuals and other publications. Any missing information will be added in future and existing descriptions will be amended where necessary. Photographs of the watermarks under transmitted light are occasionally but not consistently included under the ‘Photo & video’ tab immediately below the illustration.

The following characteristics of the paper are given in brackets:

v = waterlines (vergeures, in French) (also called laid lines)

P = chain lines (pontuseaux, in French)

V = vertical (direction of the waterlines)

H = horizontal (direction of the waterlines)

Example: vH, 5P = horizontal water-line pattern, with five chain lines

As far as possible, we have identified the watermarks or fragments of them that we have found by type, with a reference to the well-known manuals, primarily Briquet and Piccard:

C.M. Briquet, Les filigranes. Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier dès leur apparition vers 1282 jusq'en 1600, 4 vols., Leipzig 1923 (2nd edition), an online version of which is also available.

Piccard, Die Wasserzeichenkartei Piccard im Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart, Findbücher I-XVII, Stuttgart 1961-1997, 25 vols., an online version of which is also available.

It is important to know that when an artist bought a sheet of handmade paper, it was typically part of a quire, usually five sheets folded once. The watermark was then always in the middle of one of those halves, sometimes with a smaller countermark at the bottom of the other half. Artists often did not use the whole sheet, but only half or an even smaller piece. In the period in which our drawings were made, paper was not a cheap product, nor was it available everywhere, so people were generally frugal with it. That also explains why both sides of the paper were used in many cases. Later, drawings were often trimmed by collectors, as a result of which the probability of the presence of a watermark (or fragment) in drawings is now less than fifty percent.

Watermarks, particularly if there are only small fragments, do not give a lot to go on for an accurate dating. This is very much the case for common types of watermark. It is important to understand that even if one finds a watermark that looks very much like one in the manuals, there is rarely an identical match. Furthermore, the entries in Briquet and Piccard are manual tracings that are often inaccurate. And even if there is great similarity, the dating of the watermark in the manual, which is based on a dated document in an archive, is not automatically also applicable to the drawing. It is possible that the paper for both the document and the drawing had been kept in stock for years before it was used. The watermark in the manual can then only serve as an approximate dating or as supporting evidence for a dating of the drawing based on style characteristics or a demonstrated or supposed connection between the drawing and a dated painting.

A drawing by Alessandro Maganza (S 18) is an example of a sheet with a watermark of a type that can easily be identified and whose approximate dating (c.1580-90) agrees with that of a comparable watermark in the manuals.

It is a crossbow in a circle with a clover leaf above it (49 x 42 mm, on P6 of 8P, vH, to the right of the centre, upside down), resembling Briquet 763 (Ferrara 1597) and 766 (Ferrara 1583), but without the countermark, and somewhat similar to Piccard Online AT3800 PO 123861 (Rovereto 1625), but without the countermark. The same type of watermark occurs in a drawing by A. Maganza in Teylers Museum.33

Author: Albert Elen

This seemingly insignificant thin volume with its plain parchment cover is in fact an extremely rare and precious eighteenth-century album containing a remnant of twenty folios from a hypothetical lost mid-fifteenth-century drawing book, more particularly a model book, well-known among specialists in early Italian art.34 It was acquired by the collector Franz Koenigs (1881-1941) shortly before it was first shown to the public in a blockbuster exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 1930, labelled as by the Florentine early Renaissance artist Benozzo di Lese di Sandro, called Benozzo Gozzoli (c.1420/1421-1497). There it attracted immediate attention and was published in rapid succession by Arthur Popham (1929/30) and Mario Salmi (1930).35

Most, if not all of the drawings are by unknown pupils and assistants from the workshop of Gozzoli. This pupil of Fra Angelico (1387-1455) is famous for his fresco cycle The Procession of the Magi in the Cappella dei Magi, the private chapel in the Palazzo Medici in Florence (1459-60), and fresco cycles in Montefalco (San Francesco, 1450-52),36 San Gimignano (Sant’Agostino, 1463-67) and Pisa (Camposanto, 1469-84). The attribution of the drawings to the school of Gozzoli (workshop and immediate circle), first suggested by Popham (Florentine school 15th century, ‘probably an artist in Gozzoli’s studio’) and endorsed by Salmi, was based on the relations between some drawings and details in the artist’s frescoes, especially a foreshortened reclining figure (folio 10 recto) which is close to a similar figure in The Destruction of Sodom, a fresco in the Camposanto in Pisa (destroyed during WWII). This attribution was generally accepted. However, Popham believed all drawings to be by one hand, whereas Salmi distinguished between five different hands.37 Berenson (1938 and 1961) attributed only three drawings to Gozzoli himself and thought that some drawings were by an Umbrian follower of Gozzoli, suggesting Antoniazzo Romano (c.1430-c.1510).38 This tentative attribution to Antoniazzo was not considered by other scholars.

Degenhart/Schmitt (1968) extensively published the drawings of Benozzo Gozzoli and his school in their multi-volume Corpus der italienischen Zeichnungen 1300-1450.39 They considered all the drawings in the album to be the work of workshop assistants and pupils of Gozzoli. They believed that the contents of the album stemmed from a hypothetical lost fifteenth-century drawing book of which nine other loose sheets are held in museums elsewhere (see following discussion). Three of these drawings they accepted as autograph works by the master.40

Apart from Popham, who considered 1474 as a terminus post quem (the earliest possible date), there is general agreement on the dating of the drawings in the 1450s and/or 1460s, disregarding the appearance of a single motif in the Camposanto frescoes because already existing stock motifs were often reused later on.

The drawings depict a variety of nude and dressed human figures, feet, hands, animals, birds, plaster casts of antique sculptural fragments, ornaments and architectural fragments from Roman antiquity (consoles, architraves, entablatures, capitals). Most of the drawings were not made directly after the original models, but instead after already existing drawn copies, as well as after copies of copies of prototypes. As such the drawings reflect the common workshop practice of the late medieval period, in which useful existing models were widely copied, both to enlarge the repertory of motifs and for the artistic training of apprentices. Scheller (1995) considered the function in our case didactic rather than conservational, ‘an exercise book for pupils in the master’s bottega’ and ‘a reflection of Gozzoli’s repertoire’.41 The classical sources and pictorial relationships between several drawings in the album and elements in Gozzoli’s frescoes are described in the individual entries of the 20 folios.42

Some of the drawings were made on coloured grounds, which allowed the draughtsmen to add white highlights to enhance the three-dimensional modelling of the figures. The technique for applying a preparation layer on parchment and paper was described in detail by the Tuscan artist Cennino Cennini (c.1360-before 1427) in his craftsman’s handbook Il Libro dell’Arte of around 1390. This early treatise (manuscript) was widely copied and used in artistic practice and training in the fifteenth century.43 A layer of coloured, diluted, bone meal (ground bone) was applied with a brush on seventeen pages (now in the album) before the drawings were made: 3 brown preparations (fol. 1 verso-2 recto, 3 recto), 6 light ochre (fol. 2 verso, 3 verso, 4 verso, 12 verso, 13 verso, 20 verso, all without drawings), 4 green (fol. 5 verso-6 recto, 7 verso-8 recto), and 4 violet (fol. 9 verso-10 recto, 11 verso-12 recto). In four cases (fol. 1 verso-2 recto, 7 verso-8 recto, 9 verso-10 recto, 11 verso-12 recto) the preparation is the same colour on opposite pages (in the present album). On three of the pages prepared with light ochre (fol. 2 verso, 3 verso, 13 verso), there are traces of blank paper once attached to it, as well as traces of glue, indicating that in each case the preparation was afterwards (after the first foliation) covered by a blank sheet of paper, as on folio 4 verso, which was later removed. The light ochre preparation layer is still entirely intact only on folio 12 verso, as it was not covered up. Folio 20 verso was also not covered up, but was damaged by creasing.

The Gozzoli Album comes from the famous privately owned Biblioteca Trivulziana in Milan (Palazzo Trivulzio, Piazza Sant’Alessandro). The remains of a disintegrated drawing book were probably acquired as a curiosity by the renowned collector of Roman coins and illustrated manuscripts Don Carlo Trivulzio (1715-1789), who had it further disassembled and the loose sheets mounted in the present album in the third quarter of the century.44 This was probably done because these drawings were believed to be by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), judging by the inscription on the spine of the parchment cover: ‘di leon da Vinci’ (fig. 1). There is no other writing on the binding and flyleaves, except ‘vedi Raccolta’ (look at the collection) in red chalk on the front pastedown (fig. 2).

fig. 1. The volume standing up, seen on the spine
fig. 2. The first opening with the paste-down (left) and opposite flyleaf (right)
fig. 2. The first opening with the paste-down (left) and opposite flyleaf (right)

The album was first mentioned in a footnote by Amoretti (1804), as by Leonardo and his school, one of the drawings (fol. 16 verso) supposedly representing a portrait of his pupil Francesco Melzi (1493-1570).45 Eighty years later, Porro (1884) described the volume in his inventory of the Trivulzio manuscripts, rejecting Leonardo’s authorship without presenting another attribution, but distinguishing several (anonymous) hands:

Raccolta di disegni (Cod. 2145). Cod. Cart. in fol. pice. Consta di venti fogli, tredici dei quali sono disegnati da ambo le parti. Questi disegni non sono della stessa mano. Svariatissimi ne sono i soggetti e il modo di tratteggiarli. Vi sono acquerelle, disegni col lapis a due colori, a penna, lumeggiati di bianco su fondo verde, altri su fondo giallo-gnolo, o roseo. Vi sono studi dal nudo, ornati, architetture, bestie. Alcuni di questi disegni sono di mano maestra, talchè furono supposti di Leonardo o per lo meno della sua scuola. Di questo Codice parlò l'Amoretti nelle Memorie sulla vita, gli studi e le opere di Leonardo da Vinci (Mil. 1804), attribuendo a quel sommo artista un ritratto che trovasi in questo Codice e dicendolo dell'amico e discepolo di lui Francesco Melzi. Ma nulla trovasi che valga a render certo e neppur probabile tale giudizio dell'Amoretti, che è soltanto una supposizione.46

An original fifteenth-century drawing book had in the course of time worn down as a result of frequent consultation and neglect or abuse. Single folios had become unstuck, had been separated from the rest and taken on a life of their own, ending up in different collections. It is also conceivable that some folios were intentionally removed (cut or carelessly torn out). There are traces of three foliations or paginations (consecutive numbering of the folios) still present on some sheets as witnesses to the former order of the remaining folios in the volume, so changes had already been made at an early date. About three centuries after its creation, the remainder of the drawing book was taken apart and the loose folios were individually mounted into the present album.

As mentioned by Porro (1884), the album consists of twenty individually mounted single sheets (each measuring appr. 229 x 160 mm).47 It has a flyleaf at the front and at the back (of the same dimensions), which are connected as a bifolio in the spine and did not belong to the disintegrated original volume. All except six of the twenty mounted sheets have drawings on both sides, the drawn pages thus totalling thirty-three, not counting the first page of the album, which only has texts on it.

The present first page (following the blank flyleaf), which was originally a recto side of a folio near the centre of the drawing book, judging from the old foliation ‘31’, serves as a sort of title page for the album. On the page are two texts that are actually copied after ancient inscriptions, as part of the drawing book, and not intended as a title. The inscription ‘(JE)SVS NAZARENVS REX IVDAEORVM' (Jesus of Nazareth king of the Jews) at the top is preceded by a Hebrew and Greek version. Above the centre of the page is the inscription 'PICTORIBVS ATQUE POETIS SEMPER FVIT ET ERIT EQVA POTESTAS’ (Painters and poets have always had licence to dare anything), a quote from Horace’s (Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65-8 BC) famous epistle Ars poetica. The fact that both inscriptions are covered by the mounting strips – the missing letters of only the centre inscription afterwards copied on them – is a clear indication that they belonged to the original drawing book and were not written at the time of the construction of the album. In fact there is a close typological resemblance to the capitalized inscriptions below Gozzoli’s frescoes in the church of San Francesco in Montefalco (1450-52).

The 20 sheets have been mounted in the album two by two, by attaching (with glue) two large horizontal strips of paper along the top and bottom edges, connecting these with three shorter vertical strips at left, centre and right. Thus, the ‘window-framed’ drawing sheets are visible on both sides, although the reverses are somewhat smaller because the edges are covered by the album strips. Each of ten album double sheets (plano, appr. 229 x 320 mm) was folded down the centre of the middlemost vertical strip. The resulting ten album bifolios were individually stitched and bound together into a thin book block, each identifiable by the binding thread visible on the centre fold (fol. 1 verso-2 recto, 3 verso-4 recto, 5 verso-6 recto, 7 verso-8 recto, 9 verso-10 recto, 11 verso-12 recto, 13 verso-14 recto, 15 verso-16 recto, 17 verso-18 recto, 19 verso-20 recto). The drawings thus mounted were each given a frame consisting of a gilded outer cadre and a red inner cadre, drawn with the use of a ruler on the attached album strips.48

Some of the original folios were damaged or too small to fit into an album window and were repaired before mounting by provisionally gluing strips to consolidate tears (fol. 7 recto, 17 recto+verso, 19 verso) and for enlargement (fol. 3, 4, 11, 13, 14, 17). The fact that some of the drawing sheets have been cropped before the album was made is also evident from the fragmentation of parts of the drawings at the edges (fol. 4 recto, 5 recto, 9 verso, 15 recto, 17 recto).

In the twentieth century the album pages were consecutively numbered from 1 to 43 with pencil in the upper right corner (rectos) and upper left corners (versos). Three incoherent old foliation numbering systems are present on several of the drawings proper (some have been cut and in one case an indistinct fragment remains, fol. 20 recto): #1 in the lower left corner (all rectos, 1-60 with interruptions, written in pen and brown ink), #2 in the upper right corner (13 rectos, 3-58 also with interruptions, each two numbers behind on foliation #1), #3 in the lower right corner (only fol. 2 verso, numbered ‘8’). The second foliation contains several corrections and traces of other numbers. The first foliation is considered the oldest and was used by Degenhart/Schmitt (1968) to more or less reconstruct the original lost volume, arranging the surviving drawings by this first foliation, not their present locations and, for Rotterdam, not the sequence in the album.

Only in thirteen cases were the folio numbers not lost due to the later cropping of the sheets. Folio 16 verso is inscribed ‘1’ in the first foliation and ‘carte 85’ at top centre (in pen and brown ink), indicating the total number of folios, and was thus the first folio in the hypothetical lost volume. The first foliation must date from before Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), as he is believed to have owned three folios, numbered ‘21’, ‘22’ and ‘36’, now in Stockholm, which are also considered to have belonged to the lost volume.49 So at some time in the early fifteenth century the volume became unstuck and disintegrated, entirely or in part. A remnant of twenty folios apparently stayed together for more than two centuries until they were mounted into the present album. The other sixty-five folios were dispersed, only nine of them surviving with original folio numbers (between 21 and 56), now in Stockholm (3), Venice (2), London (2), Paris (1) and Cleveland (1).50 The rest of the folios were cropped beyond identification (folio numbers missing), were lost or are still hidden.51

Smudges (finger stains) at the lower right corner of some sheets in the Gozzoli Album are clear indications of drawing book origin: they were once recto folios in the hypothetical original volume (fol. 1 recto, 4 recto, 5 verso, 6 verso, 7 recto, 8 verso, 9 recto, 11 verso, 12 recto, 15 verso, 16 verso, 17 recto, 18 verso, 20 recto). There are no traces of stitch-holes, the original folios having been cropped later on.

The drawing paper generally appears to be of the same manufacture. Unfortunately, the preparation layer in fourteen out of twenty sheets prevents us from determining the presence of (a fragment of) a watermark, but the waterline pattern is in all but two cases (fol. 15 and 17) vertical, with 5 or 6 chain lines running horizontally. These eighteen sheets may therefore stem from a quarto format volume, constructed of full paper sheets (planos) folded twice and the folded short sides then cut. This means that a watermark – if present (expected in half the number of folios in the hypothetical original volume) – must be fragmented (bisected) at the fold side. However, the margins were cropped after the dismantling of the original volume and before the loose folios were mounted into the present album and so the bisected watermark must have diminished to a fragment difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish and identify.

Two out of six folios without a prepared ground on one or both sides have a horizontal water-/chain-line pattern and each has an identical watermark (fol. 15 and 17, and figs. 3 and 4 respectively). If they originate from the same volume, they come from a quire of different make-up: small folio instead of quarto format. Moreover they stem from two different bifolios in the alien quire, the companion halves (without watermark) now missing.

fig. 3. The Flower type watermark in folio 15. The waterlines (also called laid lines) run horizontally, the chain lines vertically.

The watermark is of the type Flower, with the appearance of a tulip or a campanula, with two curved leaves (fig. 3 and 4) (65 x 46 mm, near the centre, on the third of four chain lines), very similar to but larger than Briquet 6654-56 (found in archival documents in Rome, dated 1452-53, Palermo 1462, Lucca 1455-68 and Venice 1476), and of approximately the same size as Briquet 6658 (Florence 1451), which is probably the best match. Possibly, the same watermark is found fragmented (only the stem) in fol. 14, which is actually a cropped half folio sheet. Degenhart/Schmitt (1968) refer to Briquet 6654 and 665552; however, their tracing of the watermark (p. 658, WZ 68) is not to scale, inaccurate, and no chain lines are indicated. As the watermarks are in the centre of the folios, they are obviously from a folio volume.

fig. 4. The Flower type watermark in folio 17.

The flyleaves and pastedowns did not belong to the original disintegrated volume but were added during the construction of the album and must date to the eighteenth century. In the first flyleaf is a Greek Cross type watermark with letters MG below (71 x 49 mm, upside-down, bottom centre, on the fourth, fifth and sixth of eight chain lines) (fig. 5). It is superficially similar to Briquet 5585 (recorded in Autun, France, 1574), which is half the size, without a circle in the centre and without letters MG, probably of Piemontese origin, which would fit with the Milanese provenance of the album.53 In view of its size and the letters, the watermark is probably eighteenth century.

At some point, probably in the nineteenth century, thin loose leaves of tissue paper were inserted in the twenty openings for conservation purposes, in order to protect drawings from rubbing off on the opposite pages. Thirteen leaves of handmade tissue paper still remain. They are all half folios, judging from the position of the French lily type of watermark which is found bisected along one of the long edges in eleven of them. The French lily appears in two variants, both fragmented in half, positioned on chain lines 4-5 or 5-6 of 9 or 10. Variant A is a French lily (distance of the supporting chain lines 25 mm), which can be composed from two halves, from tissues now between folios 22-23 and 36-37 (fig. 6). Variant B is a French lily (distance of the supporting chain lines 27 mm), but only the upper half, inserted between folios 10-11 (fig. 7). This type of watermark (with several subtypes) was very common during several centuries and many examples are found in Briquet, most of which date back to the fifteenth century, which is too early for tissue papers. Ours are probably late eighteenth/early nineteenth century.

The drawings on several pages of the Gozzoli Album are further discussed in the individual catalogue entries.

fig. 5. the Greek Cross type watermark in the first flyleaf
fig. 5. the Greek Cross type watermark in the first flyleaf
fig. 6. Tissue between ff 22-23 combi 36-37
fig. 6. Tissue between ff 22-23 combi 36-37
fig. 7. Tissue between ff 10-11
fig. 7. Tissue between ff 10-11

This extremely rare pocket-sized drawing book, which we will refer to as the Koenigs Drawing Book – after its last private owner – was first recorded with a Milanese antiquarian in 1884.54 Its earlier provenance is uncertain, but can be deduced from the mysterious collector’s mark (L.737) on the front cover and some inscriptions in the volume. The mark with initials DD was tentatively identified as the unknown Milanese artist Durello Durelli (1660-1694) by Frits Lugt in the second edition of his famous Marques de collections (1956). Meijer (1984) substituted Durello’s name with that of Simone Durello or Durelli (active in Milan, c.1660-94), whose collection was acquired by Don Livio Odescalchi around 1700.55 He is probably the Milanese printmaker Simone Durello or Durelli (1641-1719), active from 1665 to around 1712 mainly as an illustrator of books.56 The first pastedown (front endpaper, fig. 1) is annotated ‘libro di Durelli Giacomo’ – possibly a scion of Simone, who had ten children and himself was the tenth of twelve. The family name is also found as a signature on a drawing of books on a shelf at the end of the volume (fol. 49 recto): ‘F [or G. or both in ligature] DURELLI. fecit.’). This might very well be either Francesco or Gaetano Durelli, two brothers who died in 1851 and 1855 respectively (for their identification, see the discussion of the drawings at the back of the volume). So the little drawing book seems to have remained in the possession of the Durelli family for several generations, at least until 1855, but perhaps even until 1884 when it was with a Milanese antiquarian bookshop. The first flyleaf (fol. 0 recto, fig. 2) bears the inscription ‘1631 Opere del Sig[nore] Antonio Borri’ who would then be the earliest known owner – unless this is a false signature or an attribution to an unknown artist (see also the last paragraph of this entry).

The little volume seems to date originally to the late fifteenth century and was first used to make coloured model drawings of animals, birds, insects and plants on alternate openings, leaving at least half of the pages empty.57 Later on, probably in the second or third quarter of the sixteenth century, it was used by a second draughtsman, who added landscapes and other subjects with pen and brown ink on many of the empty pages, stopping at the middle of the sixth and last quire, but leaving the last two quires blank on most of the hair-side openings. Finally, some drawings were added on the last pages (fol. 47 verso, 48 recto) and the back endpaper (fol. 49 recto, 49 verso-50 recto), probably by later owners.

fig. 1. Front endpaper with the inscription 'libro di Durelli Giacomo'
fig. 1. Front endpaper with the inscription 'libro di Durelli Giacomo'
fig. 2. Fol. 0 recto, with the inscription ‘1631 Opere del Sig[nore] Antonio Borri’
fig. 2. Fol. 0 recto, with the inscription ‘1631 Opere del Sig[nore] Antonio Borri’

Material Make-Up of the Volume

The drawing book is still intact and, as such, a rarity. It consists of six quires of eight parchment leaves each, called quaternios. The quires were diligently constructed according to the Rule of Gregory, whereby flesh-side openings and hair-side openings alternate (one opening consists of a verso and the opposite recto). Each quire starts and ends with a hair side, so the transition from one section to another is always a hair-side opening. This means that the volume was constructed with this function in mind, rather than being an assembly of loose quires bound together later on. The 16 double-page compositions also bear witness to this. The paper bifolios at the front and back, serving as flyleafs and pastedowns, could have been added later during a rebinding before 1631, but this is not likely as the binding, to which the pastedowns have been pasted on the inside, seems to be original.

The quires are covered by a soft leather binding, which is worn and smudged, showing two marks on the outside edge of both the front and the back cover, indicating that it once had two pairs of laces to tie the binding. The spine has a paper label inscribed ‘A’ in pen and red ink. The 48 parchment leaves are consecutively numbered, probably by the second draughtsman or a later owner. The foliation is uninterrupted. The numbers, all except two (fol. 7 and 43) of which are underlined, are found in the top right corner of each recto page, except for folios 36, 37 and 46, where they are placed slightly to the left, at the top centre of the recto pages. The folio numbers 47 and 48 have been changed to a lower number, possibly because a later owner did not recognize the number 46 in the wrong place and adjusted the numbers of the following folios accordingly. The endpapers are not numbered; the one at the back contains drawings of which the one on the reverse forms a double drawing with the one on the opposite pastedown. For the sake of reference the last flyleaf and the pastedown are considered to be numbered 49 and 50, and are referred to as such. For a full codicological analysis of this drawing book the reader is referred to Elen 1995, no. 24.

The Drawings by the First Draughtsman

The first draughtsman filled the first five pages (fol. 1 recto-3 recto), including the first two openings, and from there on used alternate openings (fol. 4 verso-5 recto [fig. 3], 6 verso-7 recto, 8 verso-9 recto, 10 verso-11 recto, 12 verso-13 recto, 14 verso-15 recto, 16 verso-17 recto, 18 verso-19 recto, 20 verso-21 recto, 22 verso-23 recto). He preferred the smooth hair sides over the rougher flesh sides, leaving the latter openings blank, until he reached folio 24, when he skipped a few pages and continued on the hair-side opening folios 26 verso-27 recto and made a last drawing on hair-side folio 30 verso. The rest of the book (fol. 31-48, the final two quires) was left blank. The usual layout consists of one or two plants (fol. 1 recto, 1 verso, 6 verso), or one plant combined with one, two or three birds on each page (fol. 2 verso, 3 recto, 4 verso, 5 recto, 7 recto, 8 verso, 9 recto, 10 verso, 11 recto, 12 verso, 14 verso, 15 recto); on three occasions there is a single bird (fol. 13 recto, 16 verso, 17 recto) or two or three together (fol. 22 verso, 23 recto, 30 verso), twice there is a single insect (fol. 20 verso, 21 recto), and twice this is combined with a monkey (fol. 18 verso, 19 recto). None of the openings has drawings that spread across the double page, although the two monkeys on folios 18 verso and 19 recto and the wild cats on folios 26 verso and 27 recto (fig. 4) are closely related and probably conceived as pairs. On nine folios the birds are inscribed with a name in vernacular Italian (fol. 1 recto, 2 verso, 3 recto, 4 verso, 5 recto, 7 recto, 8 verso, 16 verso, 17 recto), all in pen and grey-brown ink, except the last, which is in pencil and by another hand. This points to an ornithological interest on the part of a subsequent owner, who probably made the annotations in the sixteenth century.

fig. 3. Fol. 4 verso-5 recto

None of the plants, insects or mammals is inscribed with a name. It is difficult to tell whether the first draughtsman was primarily interested in plants or insects and animals, as some were drawn individually, while others in combination. As already noted, the subjects were probably copied from other drawings, so the draughtsman must have had books of hours, flower books, herbals and model books at his disposal, which would lead one to suspect that he worked at a court. The few mammals are all exotic, two monkeys (fol. 18 verso, 19 recto) and two wildcats (fol. 26 verso, 27 recto, fig. 4) and only one of the birds, a parrot (fol. 13 recto). The latter is a scarlet macaw, which is native to South and Central America and the Caribbean, and its appearance in this book provides a terminus post quem (earliest possible date) of 1492 for this drawing. After the discovery and conquest of the Americas by the Spanish, domesticated specimens of this parrot found their way to Europe, where they became precious pets admired for their spectacular appearance and colours, as well as their ability to learn and speak words. This must have fascinated the happy few who could afford to buy and keep them, or received them as diplomatic gifts.

Thus the Koenigs Drawing Book was started as a model book in the late-medieval tradition, designed to serve as a repertory of motifs drawn from nature – or more often than not copied from older drawings – ready to be used for depiction in illuminated manuscripts, frescoes or paintings. As a thesaurus of models, meant to be passed on to subsequent generations in order to perpetuate the workshop practice, the volume was expected to be durable and was therefore made of parchment (of animal origin, generally goat skin). Paper (of vegetable origin, made of cotton or linen fibres) was cheaper but less prone to wear and tear. However, the practice of copying and assembling motifs in this way was already falling out of fashion when the first draughtsman started making these drawings, perhaps explaining why the drawing book was left mostly empty. This also explains why the volume has survived intact, as it was never subjected to the usual rigours of workshop use. Instead the small incomplete drawing book gained the status of a precious object, which was handled with care.

The model drawings give a fascinating impression of what these late fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century drawing books looked like, as few have survived and those that have, only fragmentarily. The late medieval workshop still operated mostly anonymously, following traditional practices and imagery. The emergence of the individual artist making a name for himself by breaking away from the old conventions and developing his own personal style was part of the genesis of the early Renaissance in Italy in the course of the fifteenth century. The first such artist to receive widespread recognition was Antonio Pisanello (1395-1455). He is the most eminent exponent of the transition from the late medieval workshop tradition to the new era. His animal drawings, many of which were preserved in the so-called Codex Vallardi, a former album now in Paris,58 are characterized by accurate observation of the surrounding nature and life-like representation.59 His name is connected to several animal drawings, exquisitely rendered in great detail, some of which were used for details in his fresco decorations in the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua (c.1425-30) and in Sant’Anastasia in Verona (c.1433-38). As regards his animal drawings, Pisanello was rooted in the Lombard tradition, especially the work of the previous generation of artists, including the Milanese Giovannino de’ Grassi (c.1350-1398), the author of a famous model book now in Bergamo.60 Model drawings were copied on a large scale, and so were the copies, again and again. In our case most of the drawings seem to be such copies, rather than original designs, though skilfully executed.

The most remarkable drawings by the first draughtsman are those of exotic animals: the parrot (fol. 13 recto), two monkeys (fol. 18 verso, 19 recto), a leopard and an unknown wildcat (fol. 26 verso, 27 recto). To execute the latter two drawings, the draughtsman turned the book 90 degrees in order to draw in a horizontal format (fig. 4). In this regard these two drawings differ from comparable drawings of wildcats in surviving loose pages or fragments of lost early quattrocento model books, where two are combined on a single page in portrait format. The two wildcats and one of the monkeys in the Koenigs Drawing Book are wearing collars, indicating that they were kept as pets by wealthy noblemen who could afford such status symbols. A similar domesticated wildcat, wearing a decorated gilt collar and kept on a leash is seen seated on horseback behind a rider (Castruccio Castracini, Duke of Lucca) in the Journey of the Magi, Benozzo Gozzoli’s famous fresco cycle in the Cappella dei Magi, the private family chapel in Palazzo Medici (1459-63).61 Like our draughtsman, Gozzoli must have made use of existing model drawings, such as the three collared leopards in De’ Grassi’s model book (Bergamo), one in the Codex Vallardi (Paris) and those on ten loose parchment sheets in London (2), New York (2) and Weimar (6), which Schmitt (1997) believes all to be by the same draughtsman – an anonymous Lombard artist around 1400 – and originating from a single lost volume, called the ‘Tiermusterbuch von Weimar’.62 The crouching leopard in the Koenigs Drawing Book is a fairly exact copy of a similar drawing in that hypothetical volume, a sheet now in Weimar, although the indication of ground was left out and the collar has changed from blue to red. But it could also be a copy after a copy (after a copy) of that drawing, and the Berlin drawing itself may also be a copy after an unknown original. Likewise, the monkey with a harness around its hips in our book (fol. 18 verso) is similar to one in the Rothschild Model Book in Paris, dated c.1450, which is not coloured.63

fig. 4. Fol. 26 verso and 27 recto

The Drawings by the Second Draughtsman

The first draughtsman used only 28 out of 96 parchment pages – approximately one third of the available space. Some decades later, probably in the second or third quarter of the sixteenth century, another draughtsman took up the incomplete volume and added drawings of his own, mostly landscapes, but also other subjects on 51 folio sides, not counting three instances where he added a drawing to one by the first draughtsman: in two examples (fol. 16 verso, 17 recto), landscapes with blue washes above drawings of birds in the lower half and in another (fol. 20 verso) a view of a fortress beneath a butterfly in the upper half of the page. Most of this second draughtsman’s drawings are in pen and brown ink, with only two coloured in (fol. 6 recto, 27 verso), filling the flesh-side openings which were left blank by the first draughtsman, from folio 3 verso up to folio 25 recto in the centre of the volume, the beginning of the fourth quire. From folio 31 recto to 46 recto he used the flesh-side openings only, drawing several double-page compositions, leaving most of the hair-side pages unused. In the end, 23 pages remained blank, including folios 47 verso and 48 recto which were used much later by one or two other draughtsmen, who also drew on the back pastedown.

The landscape drawings can be divided into highly imaginative panoramas of steep mountains and whimsical rock formations, often with castles, fortresses and fortified towns in the foreground or distance, and natural views of Italian villages and towns, some of which have an almost topographical character. Especially charming are the double-page landscapes on folios 45 verso-46 recto and folios 5 verso-6 recto (fig. 5), the latter of which has additional colour washes in the right half. These two drawings seem to be located in the northern Italian countryside, on the slopes of the Alps or Apennines.

Many of the landscape drawings, but also the two drawings of rock formations on folios 3 verso and 4 recto, remind us of drawings by Fra Bartolommeo (1473-1517), who was the first Italian artist to record landscapes in a realistic manner, often with farmhouses and towns, on his many travels in the Tuscan countryside, many of which have survived with the locations identified in some cases.64 They also bear close resemblance to the many drawings made in the Marche region by the well-to-do and long-lived amateur draughtsman Gherardo Cibo, formerly known as Messer Ulisse Severino da Cingoli (1512-1600), executed in several, often fragmentarily surviving drawing books, dating from c.1560 to 1593.65 Whereas these realistic landscapes seem to have been drawn in the open from personal observation, those with fantastic rock formations appear to record existing examples, such as the drawing on folio 8 recto which derives from a painting from c.1485 by Bramantino (1465-1530), The Adoration of the Magi, which is still in Milan.66 The draughtsman was only interested in this tiny detail of the painting, which explains the blank area at lower left where the kneeling Magi were situated.67

fig. 5. Fol. 5 verso and 6 recto

Some drawings represent cityscapes and architecture, other than buildings in landscapes, such as the bisection of a Roman or all’antica theatre with two galleries on top of the sitting area (fol. 20 recto) and the ruins of a classical building (fol. 44 verso). Some buildings seem to represent or derive from medieval and early Renaissance architecture or Roman ruins, as yet unidentified, such as those on folios 13 verso-14 recto, 18 recto (Castello San Zeno, Montagnana?), 25 verso (Castello di San Martino in Aquaro, now Castelvecchio, Verona?), 27 verso and 40 recto (Castello Superiore, Marostica?). In some cases the draughtsman has attempted a accurate depiction by showing buildings and bridges reflected in the water (e.g. fol. 25 verso and 28 recto). The double-page drawing on folios 29 verso-30 recto, both sides more or less mirroring each other, derives from an anonymous Ferrarese woodcut of c.1505-15 representing the Madonna di Loreto, with the city gates and walls of Recanati and Ancona in the lower section.68 Our draughtsman probably copied more such architectural elements from various printed and painted sources yet to be identified.

The drawing on folio 44 verso is particularly interesting as it copies a woodcut illustration in Francesco Colonna’s popular novel Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, published by Aldus Manutius (1449-1515) in Venice in December 1499, with a second edition in 1545.69 This incunable provided a source of inspiration for sixteenth-century artists because of the woodcut illustrations attributed to Benedetto Bordone (1460-1531), and it obviously did not escape the attention of our draughtsman either.70 One such woodcut depicts the ruins of the harbour and ancient temple of Pluto in Polyandrion (chapter 18, page 238).71 There are several discrepancies between the woodcut and our drawing, the most important being the absence of the couple Poliphilus and Polia at the far left, the use of hatching in the drawing to indicate shadows, and the natural instead of stylized indication of the water in the foreground.72 The fact that the two figures are left out, shows our draughtsman’s particular interest in architecture. Nevertheless, we have not encountered drawings directly related to (hypothetical) fifteenth- and sixteenth-century northern Italian drawing books containing architectural drawings, such as the Codex Destailleur and the Album Bonfiglioli-Sagredo-Rothschild, now both in Paris, but they share the same general interest in classical architecture and Roman remains.73 As a matter of fact, the latter album also has little coloured drawings of animals and birds interspersed with architecture on several pages.

The most fascinating drawings in the Koenigs Drawing Book are two double-page compositions on successive flesh-side openings, showing two fully manned sailing ships tied together (fol. 33 verso-34 recto) and a galley with crew and soldiers (fol. 35 verso-36 recto). Representations of ships are known from early Italian fresco decorations and fifteenth-century Italian prints and drawings, some of which are related to representations of the sea voyages of saints, such as those of St Jerome in the Cappella Guantieri in Santa Maria della Scala in Verona painted by Giovanni Badile (1379-1448/1451).74 In the Koenigs Collection there was also a drawing of two ships with lowered sails by Pisanello or his workshop, which is now in Moscow (I 522 verso).75 Perhaps the most famous representation of a sailing vessel, at that time accessible to many visitors, and thus a prototype much followed by artists, was the monumental Navicella mosaic by Giotto (1266-1337) on the wall of the entrance arcade of the old Basilica of St Peter in Rome, executed in 1298-1300 and destroyed in the seventeenth century. We get a good impression of it from a free copy drawn by Parri Spinelli (1387-1453) around 1420, now in New York, which is probably a double-page composition on a bifolio from a lost ship model book.76 On another bifolio from the same probable volume, now in Cleveland, are also drawings of manned sailing ships based on the same model by Giotto.77 In addition to these drawings, eight early Italian engravings with sailing ships have survived, dating from the second half of the fifteenth century, one of which is similar to the sailing vessels in the double-page drawing on folios 33 verso-34 recto, and may also have served as a source of inspiration for our draughtsman.78

The Drawings at the Back of the Volume

The drawings on the last two parchment folios (47 verso and 48 recto) and on the endpapers (49 recto, 49 verso-50 recto) seem to be much later and were probably executed by successive owners of the booklet. One is the F. or G. Durelli, whose signature is present on a drawing of a row of books with an open edition of the works of Virgil (Publius Virgilius Maro), such as the Cunningham edition of 1743 (fol. 49 recto). The signature’s initial is difficult to read and could either be an F. or G. or a ligature of both. The identity of the Durelli may be inferred from the pen drawing of a composite Corinthian capital (fol. 48 recto) which is probably related to G. & F. Durelli, La Certosa di Pavia, descritta ed illustrate con tavole incise dai fratelli Gaetano e Francesco Durelli (Milan 1823). Gaetano Marco Innocenzo Durelli (1789-1855)79 was a Milanese copperplate engraver of ornamental and architectural designs who worked with his brother Francesco (1792-1851).80 Both studied ornamental design and architecture at the Accademia di Belli Arti di Brera in Milan and Francesco was also a draughtsman and professor of perspective, specializing in architectural and furniture styles, especially the so-called Bramantesque.81 It is our guess that Francesco executed both the drawings of the books (fol. 49 recto) and the drawing of the Corinthian capital (fol. 48 recto).

The watercolour drawing of St Bruno (fol. 47 verso) is intriguing. This eleventh-century hermit saint and founder of the Carthusian Order was never officially canonized but his name was put on the Roman calendar in 1623. One would expect that the draughtsman was a follower of this saint, perhaps even a Carthusian monk. However, the Durelli brothers are not known to have had connections to the order. The drawing could well be related to the earliest known owner of the book, the Antonio Borri mentioned on the first flyleaf (fol. 0 recto) with the year 1631. The saint’s name Bruno was the nickname used by Cristoforo Borri (1583-1632), a Milanese Jesuit who travelled to India and Indochina as a missionary from 1615 to 1622.82 The person who added the inscription may have been referring to him in view of the drawings of exotic animals, which he thought were made by Borri on his journey to Asia.

The double-page landscape drawing with buildings and two towers on the last opening (fol. 49 verso-50 recto) repeats the similar composition by the second draughtsman on folios 45 verso-46 recto, but is not by the same hand, in view of the differently rendered foliage. It is probably not by Borri or the Durelli brothers and seems to be from the late sixteenth century.

  • Download the complete list of the drawings in the Koenigs Drawing Book Download

The early Italian drawings in the museum’s collection span a period that is bounded on the one hand by the oldest drawing (I 1), dated to around 1350, and on the other by the year 1575 which we have used as the last year of birth when defining the parameters of the catalogue. During that period there were Dutch artists who went to Italy and spent much of their lives working there. Among them were Joannes van der Straet (Stradanus, Stradano) and Pieter de Witte (Pietro Candido), and drawings by them were already included in the online collection catalogue of the early Dutch drawings (2012). The drawings by Pauwels Franck (Paolo Fiammingo) were not included and are therefore available for consultation in this catalogue. An anonymous drawing, formerly classified as German (D I 247), has now been attributed to the ‘circle of Pieter de Witte’ and is also included here.

The researchers made use of internal and external written and oral sources. The primary internal sources were the old inventory cards and the typescript inventory of the Koenigs Collection, data from which have been largely entered in The Museum System (TMS, the digital collection registration system) since computerization started around 2000.

In the past it was customary for Dutch and foreign specialists visiting the museum to note down their comments in pencil on the cardboard mounts, a practice that has on occasion been compared with the scent trails left behind by cats and dogs. This was forbidden decades ago. All data and comments communicated verbally or in correspondence are noted on the inventory cards or now entered directly into the appropriate records in TMS. Among the international colleagues who visited the museum was Philip Pouncey (1910-1990), who was always a very welcome expert. Until 1966 he was deputy head of the British Museum’s print room and after that, until 1983, head of the old master drawings department at Sotheby’s in London. During various visits he made to the museum between 1957 and 1970 he made comments about some 50 Italian drawings, which he and the curator noted down on the mounts; these have often been replaced, but any with Pouncey’s annotations have been kept. Recently these notes were discussed with Françoise Devaux, who, together with Pouncey’s widow Myril, created a database of all the notes that Pouncey made while visiting museums all over the world. Their intention was to publish them online in due course. These expert comments have been incorporated in the entries as far as possible.

A number of external experts were also approached to help with attribution or iconography in problem cases. The names of the individual specialists can be found in the acknowledgements or footnotes to the entry concerned.

The sale catalogues from the auctions in which drawings now in our collection once went under the hammer were consulted using the four-volume Répertoire des catalogues de ventes by Frits Lugt, published by Fondation Custodia, and also available online: volume 1 (1600-1825 period), volume 2 (1826-1860 period ), volume 3 (1861-1900 period ) and volume 4 (1901-1925 period). Searches were made for catalogues that contain notes about prices and the names of buyers. These were then consulted in the museum’s own library, the Rijksmuseum library or the library of the RKD Netherlands Institute for Art History, or consulted online (with regard to the period up to 1900) via Brill’s Art Sales Catalogues Online. The sale catalogues concerned were systematically examined in order to identify the lots involved. This was not always straightforward, and in some cases even impossible, because descriptions are often concise and there are frequently composite lots or individual drawings attributed to other artists. The following asterisks appear under the heading ‘Provenance’ where necessary:

* Not found so far in this collector’s sale catalogues, often not identifiable because of unspecified lots;
** Not identifiable so far in this collector’s sale catalogues;
*** Not all this collector’s sale catalogues could be examined; copies were not present in the libraries visited and the online databases consulted;
**** None of the copies of this collector’s sale catalogues was available in the libraries visited and the online databases consulted.

If prints are mentioned, particularly when the preliminary drawing is part of this catalogue, reference is made to the manuals (Illustrated Bartsch, New Hollstein) and the copy in the museum’s collection, if present.

For a useful description of the drawing materials see the introduction to the online exhibition catalogue Occhio! Verborgen tekeningen uit Italië (Leiden 2012).

  • Download the bibliography Italian Drawings 1400-1600 Download

Please cite this online collection catalogue in literature references as follows:

Klazina Botke, Albert J. Elen, Rosie Razzall et al., Italian Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, online collection catalogue, Rotterdam 2022, consulted # [date]

References to object entries as follows: author, ‘artist, title, date’ in:


In the summer of 2018 the cataloguing of the early Italian drawings became a project after the museum was awarded a substantial subsidy by the Getty Foundation in the context of its ambitious grants initiative The Paper Project - Prints and Drawings Curatorship in the 21st Century. This made it possible to appoint two successive Boijmans-Getty fellows: Surya Stemerding for one year and Klazina Botke for two years. They, together with senior curator Albert Elen and his successor Rosie Razzall, wrote approximately two-thirds of the catalogue entries. Cheyenne Wehren also worked on the project as a research assistant for two years. Her primary activity was to systematically scrutinize sale catalogues for provenance information. Interns Esmé van der Krieke, Mees Knarren, Mattia Ciani, Alicia Rojas Costa, Lisa Witte and Fleurance van Wakeren also assisted at various stages of the project, and intern Jo’anne van Ooijen (2011) and junior curator Roselien van Wijngaarden (2012-2016) assisted in the initial preparations. Sandra Kisters, Director of Collections and Research, was closely involved in the Boijmans-Getty project from the beginning as co-editor, as well as overseeing contact with the Getty Foundation. Generous support in 2023 from the Elly Cassee Stichting to Esmé van der Krieke enabled her to write several catalogue entries in the project’s final phase.

Thanks to the Getty Foundation’s generous sponsorship, we were also able to involve a number of external experts in the project. Each researched and wrote a number of catalogue entries. We greatly appreciate the contributions of Giada Damen (New York), Rhoda Eitel-Porter (London), Chris Fischer (Copenhagen), Maud Guichané (Paris), Michael Kwakkelstein (Florence), Gert Jan van der Sman (Florence), Mary Vaccaro (Arlington, Texas) and Sarah Vowles (London). We were also joined by many international colleagues at three successive expert meetings* (2019-2021) and at the concluding symposium* on 20 May 2022, during which drawings were studied and discussed. Other international experts contributed their specialist knowledge verbally or by e-mail. In particular we want to thank Angelamaria Aceto, Jaynie Anderson, Alice Alder, Stijn Alsteens, Carmen Bambach, Alessandra Baroni, Luca Baroni, Andrea Bernardoni, Rhea Silvia Blok, Rachel Boyd, Julian Brooks*, Machtelt Brüggen Israëls, Hans Buijs, Hugo Chapman*, Marco Ciampolini, Martin Clayton, Claire van Cleave, Stefano Corazzini, Françoise Devaux, Terry van Druten*, Elizabeth Eisenberg, Marzia Faietti, Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, Rune Finseth*, Luca Fiorentino, Luca Garai, Ketty Gottardo, Edward Grasman*, Ian Hicks*, Joachim Jacoby, Paul Joannides, Jan de Jong, Mariska de Jonge, David Lachenmann, Jonathan Law, Frank Ligterink, Mireille Linck, Ger Luijten†*, John Marciari*, Marcella Marongiù, Silvia Massa, Gudula Metze, Cathérine Monbeig Goguel*, James Mundy, Matthew Landrus, Domenico Laurenza, Christoph Orth, Jonathan den Otter*, Serena Padovani, Claudio Paolini, Simonetta Prosperi Valenti, Birgit Reissland, Furio Rinaldi*, Amandine Royer, Victor Schmidt, Nicolas Schwed, Laura Staccoli, Miriam Stewart, Carl Strehlke, Sandra Toffolo, Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken*, Monroe Warshaw*, Ed van der Vlist, Aidan Weston-Lewis, Catherine Whistler, Jeremy Wood, Edward Wouk.

We are also grateful for the contributions of the staff of the RKD/Netherlands Institute for Art History in The Hague, the print room and library of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Dutch University Institute for Art History (NIKI) in Florence, the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence/Max-Planck Institut, the Villa I Tatti/The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Settignano (Florence), the Departement des Arts Graphiques and the Salle de Documentation of the Musée du Louvre, and the colleagues in other libraries, photographic documentation centres and print rooms who granted access and assisted us with this research. The NIKI furthermore provided the researchers with hospitable accommodation during their study visits to Florence.

It goes without saying that we are extremely grateful to the Getty Foundation for its generous financial support for the catalogue project and in particular to Heather MacDonald, senior program officer of The Paper Project. Her unstinting interest, support and courtesy meant a great deal to us, particularly when we were forced to make changes to the schedule and reallocations in the budgets because of the successive lockdowns and prolonged travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Getty Foundation furthermore provided an additional grant for translation of the texts, as a result of which the online catalogue is available in both Dutch and English for interested Dutch and non-Dutch speakers all over the world.

Albert J. Elen, senior curator emeritus

Rosie Razzall, curator

Klazina Botke, Boijmans-Getty fellow

Surya Stemerding, Boijmans-Getty fellow



Project management / final editing

Albert J. Elen

Sandra Kisters

Rosie Razzall


Klazina Botke

Giada Damen

Rhoda Eitel-Porter

Albert J. Elen

Chris Fischer

Maud Guichané

Suzie Hermán

Mees Knarren

Esmé van der Krieke

Michael Kwakkelstein

Rosie Razzall

Alicia Rojas Costa

Gert Jan van der Sman

Surya Stemerding

Mary Vaccaro

Sarah Vowles


Mees Knarren

Esmé van der Krieke

Jo’anne van Ooijen

Cheyenne Wehren

Roselien van Wijngaarden

Text editing

Yvonne Brentjens

Lynne Richards

Sabine Terra

Dutch-English translation

Michael Hoyle

Lynne Richards

English-Dutch translation

Maaike Post and Arjen Mulder

Marie Louise Schoondergang


Yvonne Brentjens (editor) and Esmé van der Krieke (CMS)

Marieke van Santen (webmaster)


Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Collection (photography Studio Tromp and Rik Klein Gotink)

Helmy Frank (photography supervision)

Albert Elen (watermarks photography)


The museum has made efforts to trace all rights holders. If you nevertheless believe that you have rights, please contact Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

© 2023 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the authors and the photographers

All rights reserved. Nothing in this collection catalogue may be reproduced or disclosed in any form or by any means whatsoever without prior written permission from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.


Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
P.O. Box 2277
3000 CG Rotterdam, Netherlands
T +31 (0)10 4419400


1 Smaller collections of Italian drawings can be found in the Leiden University Libraries (previously Leiden University Print Room, 140 sheets) and the Amsterdam Museum (previously Amsterdams Historisch Museum, 55 sheets).

2 In 1847 the Frans Boymans bequest contained some 8,000 prints and between 8,000 and 10,000 drawings, but most of them had been deaccessioned before the 1852 inventory because they were not of the required museum quality. The 1864 fire is described in detail in Cat. 1909, pp. 110-20. For a more comprehensive history of the prints and drawings collections in Museum Boymans, focusing on the early Dutch drawings, see A.J. Elen, ‘Over de verzameling’, online collection catalogue Nederlandse tekeningen uit de vijftiende en zestiende eeuw (2012).

3 Pieter Haverkorn van Rijsewijk, director from 1883 to 1908, oversaw the creation of a collection of ‘modern’ works on paper, primarily by Dutch artists. It was not until 1923 that the lack of old master prints was made good to a certain extent by the donation of the collection of Dr A.J. Domela Nieuwenhuis, containing some 3,000 sheets. The collection was structured to cover all of Western art and it contains drawings and above all prints from various schools, including work by such leading artists as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt and Goya. The print collection was extended substantially in the 1920s, -30s and -40s thanks to generous gifts and loans by the collector Dr J.C. Bierens de Haan, culminating in his bequest of some 26,000 prints and a substantial acquisition fund that was put under the management of the Lucas van Leyden Foundation (1936), which he founded. To date approximately 16,000 further prints have been purchased with the revenues of this fund. The collection, by now numbering around 69,000 prints, ranges from the fifteenth century to the present day and is international in character. The Netherlandish (Dutch and Flemish) prints are supplemented by large numbers of works by Italian, French, German, British and American artists.

4 Other sheets with fire damage include inv. P. de Witte 1, MB 937, MB 972, MB 1706, MB 1708.

5 In 1872 the amateur painter Margaretha Cornelia Boellaard (1795-1872) bequeathed a folder to the museum containing 12 drawings she had made in around 1828, mainly after Italian old masters in the Boymans collection (inv. MCB 1 a-l). However, none of the drawings can be linked to a work listed in the concise 1852 catalogue except for the allegorical Time after Giuseppe Maria Mitelli (cat. 1852, no. 2202, by ‘Mattlely, F.’); 1872 Annual Report, p. 2.

6 While this collection is largely comprised of prints, it also contains over 100 nineteenth-century German drawings; see Hoetink 1964.

7 Borenius 1934, p. 194; Von Hadeln 1933.

8 For more detailed information about Koenigs and his collection see Elen 1989 and ‘De Collectie Koenigs. Een encyclopedische tekeningenverzameling van formaat’ on the museum’s website.

9 In fact, the drawings on 389 of the 401 sheets are by the artist himself and twelve are now attributed to three artists from his circle, namely Fra Paolino da Pistoia (1), Mariotto Albertinelli (5) and Giovanni Antonio Sogliani (6).

10 Of these, 27 sheets have been in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow since 1945. For unknown reasons, eight Venetian drawings from the Koenigs Collection were not included by Hans Tietze and Erica Tietze-Conrat in Tietze/Tietze-Conrat in 1944: inv. I 44, 49, 58, 59, 88, 89, 407 and 536.

11 Tintoretto died in 1594 and left his workshop estate to his son Domenico, who in turn left it to his brother-in-law and workshop colleague Sebastiano Casser (died 1679), who sold drawings in bundles at the end of his long life, including some 160 to Leopoldo de’ Medici (now in the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence) and about 70 that came into the possession of Sir Joshua Reynolds in London (five of which are presently in Rotterdam: inv. I 85, 206, 374, 397 and 452). Altogether there were approximately 320 drawings, including autograph drawings and work by often unknown pupils; see Marciari 2020, pp. 237-41.

12 Nine of them are now in the Pushkin Museum; Moscow 1995, nos. 125-32, 134. The ‘Second Koenigs Collection’, which is discussed below, also contained drawings by Tintoretto, which were still considered at that time to be by Jacopo but have meanwhile been attributed to Domenico. Two of them are currently in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. RP-T-1964-81 and 82; Amsterdam 1981, nos. 147 and 360. Ger Luijten points out that Koenigs’s preference for Jacopo Tintoretto might have been linked to his liking for drawings by Paul Cézanne, of which he held 23 sheets, and for whom Tintoretto was also an important source of inspiration; Luijten/Meij 1990, p. 187.

13 Inv. I 563 M and N; inv. I 20, 26, 29, 147, 148, 381, 392, 465, 466.

14 L.2288bis, tab ‘depuis 2010’ (March 2010).

15 L.2103a, tab ‘depuis 2010’ (update November 2018).

16 Inv. I 36, 44, 45-47, 50-52, 54, 57-59, 61-68, 91-99. Other drawings with a Sagredo provenance are inv. I 56, 179, 334, 371, 453, 516, F I 209, MB 1940/T 7 and 8 (possibly also inv. I 49, I 483).

17 Inv. I 69-84, 87-90, 121 and D I 128 (now Hirschvogel). The contents of this album (28 drawings) are listed in an Italian typescript list (‘Elenco’) (in the museum’s files, under Tintoretto, and online), which was apparently drawn up in or before 1926 for sales purposes, with brief descriptions of the separate drawings and the dimensions of each sheet in width x height. Two drawings, inv. I 74 and 82, which according to the Lütjens inventory have a D’Adda provenance, cannot be identified in the Elenco. Numbers 1, 4, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 25 also cannot be identified in the Elenco: Elenco, no. 1 ‘Frontispizio della raccolta del conte Francesco Dadda’ (25 x 26 cm w x h); no. 4 ‘JACOPO TINTORETTO. Studio per la figura del Cristo al Limbo nella chiesa di S. Cassiano’ (28 x 41 cm w x h); no. 18 ‘VINCENZO CATENA (?). Studio per un santo benedicente’ (6 x 15 cm w x h); no. 19 ‘SCUOLA DI TIZIANO INTORNO IL 1540. Studio per un Marsia’, ‘magficamente macchiato’ (18 x 28 cm w x h); no. 21 ‘DAMIANO MAZZA. Studio per una predicazione del Battista’, ‘abbozzi a olio su carta’ (20 x 30 cm w x h); no. 22 ‘DAMIANO MAZZA. Studio per una Susanna’, ‘abozzo a olio su carta’ (27 x 39 cm w x h); no. 25 ‘ANTONIO VASSILACCHI detto l’ALIENSE. Studio per un trionfo di Nettuno’ (19 x 27 cm w x h). Koenigs apparently made a broad selection from the drawings he was offered: 23 of the 28.

18 These were inv. I 375-449, 451-56, 458-75, 485-91, 493, 537 (inv. I 411 also came from Böhler, but it was purchased in 1930). The purchase also included 18 drawings by Rembrandt and artists from his school (inv. R 107-24).

19 Inv. I 476-82.

20 Byam Shaw 1983, vol. 1, p. 197, n. 4. De Hofstede de Groot drawings: inv. H 255, H 256, R 134.

21 For the history of the Koenigs Collection see Elen 1989, pp. 9-25, and A.J. Elen, The Koenigs Collection (2010, online).

22 For the fate of the Koenigs Collection before, during and after the Second World War, see Elen 1989, pp. 14-25 and Dekker 2018, pp. 46-68, as well as the online information on the museum website.

23 Elen 1989, nos. 301-410; Moscow 1995, nos. 80-193. The differences in numbers between the two publications (109 versus 114) are the result of new attributions in the latter, where previously non-Italian drawings were designated as Italian (nos. 118-20 as German in Elen 1989) and the fact that it emerged there are two versions of a drawing by Jacopo Tintoretto, one in Rotterdam (inv. I 341; Elen 1989, no. 396) and one in Moscow (inv. I 340; Moscow 1995, no. 129).

24 They include 10 sheets by Jacopo Tintoretto, 7 by Veronese, 3 by Fra Bartolommeo, 3 by Pisanello, 2 by Alessandro Maganza, 1 by Mantegna, 1 by Lorenzo di Credi and 1 by Barocci (Moscow 1995, nos. 80-154). The 39 seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italian drawings (Moscow 1995, nos. 155-93) include 13 by Giambattista Tiepolo, 3 by Giandomenico Tiepolo, 2 by Guardi and 2 by Bellotto.

25 The ‘Second Koenigs Collection’ included 148 old master drawings, among them drawings by Tintoretto from the purchase of the Simonetti Collection in 1928 (which were not transferred as security in 1931) and more than 110 ‘modern’ drawings, mainly by French Impressionists (primarily Cézanne, Corot, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec). The estate, which was divided notarially in 1948 between the five children, also included 10 old and 47 modern paintings, and 1,133 old and modern prints (excluding Goya’s Los desastros, Los proverbios and Tauromachia series, and Elles and Yvette Guilbert by Toulouse-Lautrec). Many works have been sold by the heirs independently, primarily in auctions in London (Sotheby’s) 28 April 1994 (lot 10), New York (Sotheby’s) January 2001 (lots 1-69 drawings, lots 70-106 prints), New York (Christie’s) January 2007, London (Sotheby’s) 5 February 2007 (lot 11), London (Christie’s) 6 February 2007 (lot 7), New York (Christie’s) 16 April 2021 (lots 31-44) and 13-14 May 2021 (lots 444-47), and New York (Christie’s) 6 July 2021, lots 26-33 (paintings). One heir, Mrs A.K.M. Boerlage-Koenigs, gave 21 drawings to Teylers Museum in 2001.

26 Inv. MB 1940/T 7 and T 8.

27 The few acquisitions by the Stichting MBVB (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation) are an exception. They have an ‘St’ serial number.

28 Among them the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inv. RP-T-1957-365 (recto and verso).

29 Monbeig Goguel 2021.

30 Stemerding 2021.

31 See Gibson-Wood 1989 and Gibson-Wood 2003.

32 Inv. I 202-204, I 210, I 467 and I 468 (the last one is now in Moscow).

33 Haarlem, Teylers Museum, inv. K 75; Florence/Rome 1983-84, no. 43, ill., p. 230; Van Tuyll van Serooskerken 2000, no. 465, ill.

34 The nomenclature in English used for this volume during the last hundred years, since it was acquired by Koenigs, is confusing. It is to be called either the remainder of a hypothetical lost drawing book (or the subtype model book, though not a sketchbook) or album, which are fundamentally different entities, the former being (originally) an existing volume, constructed of blank quires (generally of paper, sometimes of parchment) in which drawings were made on the actual pages, the latter being either a preconceived bound volume in which loose drawings were inserted, mounted (in a window allowing the viewing of both sides) or pasted, generally by a collector. The present volume is actually a combination of both. For a detailed discussion of the distinction between drawing books and albums, see Elen 1995 and Elen 2018.

35 Mario Salmi (1930) was surprised to see the album, which he had studied in the Biblioteca Trivulziana ‘a few years ago’, included in the London exhibition, as a loan from Franz Koenigs. How the collector acquired the volume is not recorded. He probably bought it from the then owner, prince Luigi Alberico Trivulzio through the Munich art dealer Julius Böhler (with whom he formed a consortium, ‘das Trio’, together with the Berlin art dealer Leo Blumenreich), sometime between 1925 and 1930, probably together with a precious little Flemish illuminated book of hours (by among others Nicolas Spierinc, c.1470), which was anonymously sold to the Dutch Royal Library, The Hague, by one of Koenigs’s heirs in 2001 (inv. SMC 1). Parts of the Biblioteca Trivulziana had already been deaccessioned in the late nineteenth century, among others in the following auction sales: Milan (Ulrico Hoepli) 27 November 1886; New York (Levitt) October 1886 (The Trivulzio Collection, part I) and 6-11 February 1888 (The Trivulzio Collection, part 2: Incunabulic Treasures and Medieval Nuggets from the Trivulzio Library of Milan, Italy). The rest of the library’s holdings were sold to the municipality of Milan in 1935 and subsequently merged with the pre-existing Archivio Storico Civico in the Castello Sforzesco.

36 Montefalco 2002, pp. 276-85, no. 39, ill.

37 Salmi 1930, pp. 94-95.

38 Autograph: folios 5 recto, 6 verso and 8 verso; Umbrian follower: including folios 1 verso, 2 recto, 9 verso, 11 verso, 12 recto, 18 verso; Berenson (1938 and 1961), p. 101.

39 Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, nos. 397-486, including the folios from the lost drawing book in the present Gozzoli Album (‘Musterbuch der Gozzoli Werkstatt’, nos. 434-69).

40 The three drawings from the hypothetical lost volume which they consider autograph are now in London, British Museum, inv. Pp,1.6 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 409; Montefalco 2002, pp. 212-13, no. 23, ill.); Rome, Gabinetto Nazionale per la Grafica, inv. 128283 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 410); Venice, Galleria dell’Accademia, inv. 102 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 408; Montefalco 2002, p. 67, fig. 12, p. 121, fig. 7).

41 Scheller 1995, pp. 375-76. For a discussion of Gozzoli’s workshop practices and the involvement of pupils, see Ames-Lewis 1998.

42 Most were already noted early on in Popham (1929/30) and Salmi (1930) and repeated in the later literature.

43 In chapter XVI; Thomson 1933, pp. 9-12.

44 Popham (1929/30) dates the album to the end of the eighteenth or early nineteenth century, but it already existed in 1804, when mentioned by Amoretti.

45 The library still holds an autograph notebook by Leonardo da Vinci (Cod. Triv. 2162).

46 Translated: ‘Collection of drawings (Codex 2145). Paper codex in folio format. Consists of twenty sheets, thirteen of which are drawn on both sides. These drawings are not by the same hand. The subjects and the way they are drawn are very varied. There are watercolours, two-colour pencil drawings, pen drawings, illuminated in white on a green background, others on a yellowish or pink background. There are studies of nudes, ornaments, architecture, animals. Some of these drawings are by a master's hand, so that they were assumed to be by Leonardo or at least by his school. Amoretti spoke of this Codex in his Memorie on the life, studies and works of Leonardo da Vinci (Mil. 1804), attributing to that great artist a portrait found in this Codex and saying it was of his friend and disciple Francesco Melzi. But nothing can be found to make certain or even probable such a judgement by Amoretti, which is only a supposition.’

47 The album and its contents have been described in detail in Elen 1995, pp. 222-24, no. 23.

48 Similar framing is found in the Gabburri Albums with drawings by Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517) in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, inv. I 563 M and N, and the album Os desenhos das Antigualhas with drawings by Francisco de Hollanda (1517-85), El Escorial, Biblioteca Real de S. Lorenzo, Cod. 28-I-20; facsimile editions by Tormo 1940 and Alves 1989.

49 Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, inv. NMH 31/33, 34/35, 57/58 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, nos. 438, 439, 444). Another drawing of a seated male nude, numbered ‘26’ and now in London, was in the Marchetti collection assembled by Padre Sebastiano Resta (1635-1714); British Museum, inv. Pp,1.7 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 440), inscribed with shelf marks ‘g.7’ (recto) and ‘g.6’ (verso) (L.2981).

50 Nationalmuseum, NMH 31/33, 34/35, 57/58 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, nos. 438, 439, 444); Galleria dell’Accademia, inv. 102, 104 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, nos. 408, 443); Montefalco 2002, p. 67, fig. 12, p. 121, fig. 7; Melli 2000, pp. 183-86, figs. 14, 15); British Museum, inv. Pp,1.6, Pp,1.7 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, nos. 409, 440); Musée du Louvre, inv. 54 recto, 54 verso (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 458); Cleveland Museum of Art, inv. 1937.24 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 451).

51 The other drawings associated with the hypothetical lost drawing book, but cropped and therefore without original folio numbers, are listed by Degenhart/Schmitt (1968): Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Kupferstichkabinett, inv. 5578 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 464); Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, inv. 70 E., 1112 E. (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, nos. 470, 471; Inventario 1986, p. 34, ill.; Inventario 1987, pp. 468-69, ill.); London, British Museum, inv. Pp,1.9 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 465); New York, Cooper Union Museum, inv. 1901.39.2971 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 461); Paris, Musée du Louvre, inv. RF 435 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 466); Rome, Gabinetto Nazionale per la Grafica, inv. FC 128283 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 410; Montefalco 2002, pp. 214-215, no. 24, ill.); Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, inv. 93/94 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 467); Venice, Galleria dell’Accademia, inv. 10, 9 (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, nos. 468, 469); Vienna, Albertina, inv. 12r, 12v (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 462), inv. 25450 r, 25450 v (Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 463). Popham (1929/30) has suggested some more scattered drawings; however, they lack convincing material evidence (see also Berenson 1938). Degenhart/Schmitt (1968, p. 470 note 2), repeated by Melli (2000, p. 183), have suggested that a drawing in Florence (Gallerie degli Uffizi, inv. 333 E.; Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, no. 416, pl. 320c; Montefalco 2002, p. 117, 124, ill.) may also have belonged to the hypothetical lost volume, but the argument that the approximately twice larger sheet (320 x 420 mm) was a double folio in the volume, is not convincing, as a vertical centre fold and traces of stitch-holes along it are absent. Moreover, as Degenhart/Schmitt and Melli have suggested, the Uffizi drawing is probably a presentation drawing for a commission (which was not made in a drawing book but on a loose sheet, if only for practical reasons, as it could be easily given or send to a patron for approval).

52 Degenhart/Schmitt 1968, p. 479 n. 5.

53 Briquet, 2nd ed., Leipzig 1923, p. 319. No similar types in Piccard Online (subtype zweikonturiges Wiederkreuz).

54 Described in Arrigoni’s sale catalogue Omnium des livres precieux as ‘Volume composé de 48 feuillets de parchemin numerotés, et ayant servi et appartenu à Antonio Borri; sur le feuillet de garde se trouve la mention: Opere del signor Antonio Borri, 1631, et postérieurement à Giacomo Durelli 1838. Il renferme des miniatures de fleurs, oiseaux, insectes, animaux de toute dspèce, vues, palais, bateaux, bataille, etc., le tout peint avec grand soin en couleurs et an simple trait.’

55 The same mark (stamped on the back of the old mounts, not on the drawings proper) is also found on 24 drawings in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, which stem from the Odescalchi collection; Meijer 1984, pp. 68, 70, 72.

56 F. Triaca Fabrizi in Dizionario biografico degli italiani 42 (1993), s.v. (Treccani).

57 Johan Bosch van Rosenthal of ArtConsult, Amsterdam, having consulted Hugo Chapman, distinguishes two hands among the model drawings (only fol. 15 recto by artist ‘B’, the others all by artist ‘A’), but we do not accept this distinction and confine ourselves to only one (‘A’); his (unpublished) digital sale brochure The Franz Koenigs Italian Drawings Book, 2014.

58 Musée du Louvre, inv. 2262-2640; the fifteenth-century album, acquired in 1856, has since been dismembered and the drawings kept separately in 26 portfolios. Forty drawings, some by Gentile da Fabriano, others by Pisanello and workshop, all on red prepared paper, were part of a hypothetical lost folio drawing book, the so-called Red Album; see Elen 1995, no. 14.

59 See Degenhart/Schmitt 2004.

60 Biblioteca Civica Angelo Mai, Bergamo, inv. VII. 14, which is actually a composite (convolute) of remaining quires of two or three dissolved model books; Scheller 1995, no. 26; Elen 1995, no. 3, fig. 3.

61 Florence 2021, pp. 65, 86, ill.

62 Biblioteca Civica Angelo Mai, Bergamo, inv. VII. 14, fol. 15 verso-16 recto; Musée du Louvre, inv. 2426; British Museum, inv. 1895-12-14-94 and 95; Morgan Library & Museum, inv. I,82-85; Kunstsammlungen Weimar, inv. KK 8805-8810; Schmitt 1997, pl. I-XIVIII.

63 Loisel/Torres 2011, p. [117], fig. 76; Elen 1995, no. 18.

64 Gronau 1957; Fischer 1990, pp. 375-400, nos. 105-12; Elen 1995, no. 46, fig. 23.

65 Elen 1995, nos. 70, 77-81, 84, 91, 93, 95, figs. 35, 38.

66 Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, inv. 84.

67 Observed by Jan van der Waals in his unpublished and undated (c.1982) typescript master thesis Een 16de eeuws Noorditaliaans model-/optekenboekje, pp. 16-17 (a copy is in the museum library). The author suggests that the comparable landscape drawing on folio 7 verso records a landscape detail in the missing far left part of the painting. We owe the determination of the plants, animals and insects in this drawing book to Van der Waals. On page 9 of his thesis he thanks Sam Segal for his help in determining the plants and (Jan?) Wattel for the birds, listed on pages 10-12.

68 Also noted by Van der Waals (see previous note), pp. 18-19, pl. V. The print, in an unknown private collection, is not found online, but is illustrated in Rava 1969, no. 4279 bis, fig. N.45.

69 Observed by Van der Waals (see note 67), p. 21.

70 Armstrong 1996, pp. 65-92.

71 The scene is described in Blunt 1962, p. 42, pl. 3.

72 Polia may have been shifted to folio 27 verso: the standing woman in front of a ruined building, who is the sole figure executed in colours.

73 Musée du Louvre, resp. inv. DR 1367-1476 (110 drawings on 76 folios) and inv. DR 841-860 (20 folios); the latter Elen 1995, no. 8; Loisel/Torres 2011, pp. 23-85, ill. 15-56.

74 Degenhart/Schmitt 2010, vol. III, p. 103, figs. 65, 66.

75 Inv. I 522 verso; Elen 1989, no. 360; Moscow 1995, no. 87, ill.; Degenhart/Schmitt 2004, vol. I, no. 766 verso, vol. 2, pl. 81.

76 Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 19.76.2; Elen 1995, no. 10.

77 Cleveland Museum of Art, inv. 61.38 verso; Elen 1995, no. 10, fig. 6.

78 Hind I, no. A.I.63-65, E.III.8-12; A.I.63 being the one closest to our double-page drawing, as pointed out by Van der Waals (see note 67), pp. 19-21, pl. VIII.

79 F. Fiorani in Dizionario biografico degli italiani 42 (1993), s.v. (Treccani).

80 Op. cit., s.v. (Treccani).

81 G. Ricci, ‘Architettura in fiore’, in Pavoni 1997 pp. 63-94, esp. pp. 72-81.

82 L. Petech in Dizionario biografico degli italiani 13 (1971), s.v. (Treccani).

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