Pen and brown ink on traces of black chalk
Height: 10,5 cm
Length: 30 cm
Inscribed lower right: 2602 n n polidoro
This drawing must be linked to a series of some 125 sheets formerly in a private collection in Torino , a small part of which was published in 1968 by Francesca Zava Bocazzi ( an unpublished album of drawings by Ercole Setti, « Master Drawings », VI, 1968, n.4, pp.355-363), representing scenes from everyday life such as chicken sellers, carpenters, market scenes, astrologists, and others, a real inventory of small trade and craft, unique at this period of Counter Reformation (circa 1570). The drawings in that series are equally large, but with major dimensions, the figures in frieze, drawn in pen and brown ink, sometimes on traces of black chalk, without wash. The rapid and elliptic drawing is absolutely characteristic of this
part of Setti’s drawn œuvre, which also includes more elaborated sheets, related to religious compositions (the wedding at Cana, in Windsor, preparatory to the painting in the church of San Pietro in Modena, dated 1589, cf A.E. Popham and J.Wilde, The Italian Drawings of the XV and XVI Centuries in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle, London, 1949, n°926, pl.112) ; Coronation of the Virgin in Chicago, for the 1575 painting in the Santa Annunziata in Modena, cf Drawings in Dialogue, 2006, n°20), and a series of circular drawings, illustrating scenes of the new Testament, of a very precise and refined execution, which sometimes led to attribute them to northern artists, and whose purpose is unknown (cf Nicolas Schwed, Dessins anciens et du XIXème siècle, mars 2015, n°6).