(Arezzo, 1679 - Firenze, 1844)
Pen, wash and brown ink
236 x 192 cm (9.29 x 7.56 inches)
- Reference Number: 0189
A young man, wearing classical clothes, is kneeling exhausted at the bottom of monumental stairs. While crying he is showing with the left hand a distant point, clearly to draw attention to a mournful event. We are able to assign the drawing, made with a firm pen line although it also shows a very light usage of pen and aquarelle, to the Florentine neoclassical context. The majestic structure of the figure, as well as the afflicted expression of the pathos brings us to an evident academical exercise on Michelangelo's drawings and marbles. In this context, an attribution to Pietro Benvenuti, painter from Arezzo in Tuscany, is convincing. In his few pen and aquarelle studies – he usually preferred to use pencil and black charcoal – he shows a high technical expertise combined with a remarkable expressive strength. Also, the pose of the figure is recurring in his graphic and pictorial production (confront our drawing with the preparatory studies for the Judith showing the people Holofernes' head in the Gallerie di Capodimonte in Naples). Born in Arezzo, Benvenuti was a student of the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence and he completed his training with the study of the texts of the Classics during a long stay in Rome. He stands out, especially during the countess Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi's years of regency in Tuscany, for making large canvases with religious scenes of subjects from ancient history. Our drawing can be referred to a later phase, close to the realization of the frescoes featuring the Histories of the Old and the New Testament for the vault of the Cappella dei Principi (1828-1836).