Niccolò Maria Russo
Naples 1647 – 1702
The Transportation of the Arch of the Covenant
Black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash. Watermark fleur de lys in an oval, in the back paper.
395 x 532 mm – 15 1/2 x 21 in.
This drawing is connected by its subject to Niccola Malinconico’s The Walls of Jericho Fall Down (Santa Maggiore, Bergama), as well as to a drawing in the Wolfgang Ratjen collection (inv. 2007.111.94) by this disciple of Luca Giordano. Our sheet is executed in a more schematic graphic style, yet its composition is more important, more detailed and presents other rather important differences, therefore, it cannot be a mere copy. Due to its large size, this sheet may be a variation on the same theme performed by an artist from Malinconico entourage to be sold on the market. The style is undoubtedly very close to that of Niccolò Russo, which is particularly evident in a large drawing in Christ Church in Oxford that Joachim Meyer connected to a fresco in the church of Santa Caterina a Formiello in Naples (Joachim Meyer, Appunti, New drawings by Luca Giordano and his circle: Niccolò Russo, Baldassare Farina, Nicola and Oronzo Malinconico, Paragone 52, septembre 2001, n° 39, p. 86-94).
Condition reports – Central crease due to the drying of the sheet. Laid down on an old mount.