Study of a Bitch. c. 1530
* 1499 in Rome † 1546 in Mantua
Pen and brown ink. Size of sheet: 11.7 x 18.8 circa.
Study of the bitch's head in profile on the verso, visible through a cut out opening on the mount.
Provenance: Jonathan Richardson Sr. (L. 2183), his mount and inscription 'Annibale Carracci', his shelf number on the verso: Zb. 8./CC.2/C.47/m.;
Richard Houlditch (L. 2214);
Christian David Ginsburg (L. 1145),
possibly his sale London, Sotheby's, 20-23 July 1915, part of lot 32 (Giulio Romano. Various classical and other subjects);
Sotheby's Sale, Old Master and British Drawings, 8 July 2015, London, lot. 47.
Traditionally attributed to Annibale Carracci, this drawing was given to Giulio Romano by Philip Pouncey. Most surely drawn from life, it belongs to a group of animal studies formerly in the collection of Jonathan Richardson, Senior, in some of which we see this same unusually delicate use of the pen. One of these, a study of a Leaping Hound that was on the art market in 1972, has been associated with Giulio's frescoed medallion of Asses under Ray from Mars, in the Sala dei Venti at Palazzo Te, Mantua, where very similar dogs can be found (1). Another pen and brown ink study of a dog, again from Richardson's collection and also associated with the same medallion in Palazzo Te, was sold in 1973 (2).
1. Sale, London, Sotheby's, 23 March 1972, lot 108; see F. Hartt, Giulio Romano, New Haven 1958, vol. II, reproduced fig. 199.
2. Sale, London, Christie's, 10 July 1973, lot 71.