The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Two Amorini
  • After Domenichino (1581 - 1641)
  • Two Amorini
  • Italy
  • Perhaps 18th century
  • Drawing
  • Red chalk on whitened paper
  • Overall size: 17.9 x 16.5 cm
  • P776
  • Not on display
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • In the early 20th century, this drawing was catalogued as School of Parma and subsequently as School of Boucher. It was not until the subject was recognised as a detail from one of Domenichino’s frescoes in the Sant’Andrea della Valle in Rome that the drawing was accurately identified as a copy after the Baroque master. It is thought to date from the 18th century and is probably by an Italian artist, but little else is known about its creation and authorship.

    Domenichino was employed to decorate the cuppola of Sant’Andrea della Valle in the early 17th century. The project, which he shared with Giovanni Lanfranco, was one of the most significant commissions of the time. Domenichino was responsible for the pendentive sequence showing the four evangelists. The design from which the present picture derives is of St. John, who is depicted surrounded by angels and ‘putti’. The two figures copied here sit in the top left corner of Domenichino’s St. John composition, directing his (and the viewer’s) gaze upwards to Sant’Andrea’s great dome, which is decorated with Lanfranco’s celebrated masterpiece, the Assumption of the Virgin.
    The drawing was acquired by Richard Wallace and was displayed in his study in the late 19th century.