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Man with Cape and Studies of Two Heads
Man with Cape and Studies of Two Heads
ca. 1611–1620
Not on display
Pen And Brown Ink And Brown Wash, Inscribed At Lower Center 'Gio. Rib.a'
Sheet: 166 x 113 mm (6 9/16 x 4 7/16 in.)
Object Type:

Joseph Green Cogswell (1786-1871); Mortimer Leo Schiff (1877-1931) (Hellmann 1915, no. 253, pl. LIX); Moore S. Achenbach (1878-1963).

Accession Number:
Acquisition Date:
Credit Line:

Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

Exhibition History:

Oaklan (CA), Mills College Art Museum, 'Old Master Drawings', 1954 (without catalogue).

The rapid execution and subject matter of this sheet suggest it was made from life. The figure's type and lack of setting, only referenced by the shadow cast on the ground by the standing man, connects the Achenbach sheet to a study with a man wearing a cape in a private collection (Finaldi 2017, no. 103) and a Gypsy woman carrying a child in the Abellò collection, Madrid (id., no. 148). Dating the drawing to the mid 1630s (thus following Jonathan Brown’s earlier proposal), Gabriele Finaldi has more recently (2017) linked the studies on this sheet with a character from the Commedia dell'Arte, Zanni or Scarpino, usually characterized by a hat, loose clothes, and a stick that he is waiving in his right hand. Advancing a much earlier dating, to ca. 1611, Viviana Farina (2014) related the studies on this sheet to Annibale Carracci's celebrated painting of the Bean Eater (1583-85, Galleria Colonna, Rome) and, more generally, to the academic and grotesque graphic outputs produced by the Carraccis, circulating in Rome and Emilia at the beginning of the century. As the drawing both attests and highlights the wit and wide cultural interest of the young Ribera in Rome, an earlier dating to the mid-1610s seems more appropriate, also considering elements of style and technique, like the swift execution and abundant use of wash. (Furio Rinaldi, 2021).