Giuseppe Cades (Rome 1750 - Rome 1799)
Saint Peter appearing to Saints Lucy and Agatha
pen and brown ink and grey wash over traces of black chalk
298 x 177 mm
Private collection, USA
This drawing is likely the first of three preparatory designs for Giuseppe Cades's painting, now in the Pinacoteca Civica, Ascoli Piceno. The painting was commissioned in 1781 by the bishop Pietro Paolo Leonardi for the cathedral in Ascoli Piceno, where it was housed for 140 years until its transfer to the present location in 1918. The two other related drawings are held in the Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen, and in the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin.
Cades revised various elements of the scene’s composition through these designs, and each differs from the other in detail. Perhaps most significantly, in the present drawing the bearded figure of Saint Peter is shown with his finger pointed heavenward, whereas in the final painting and in the Copenhagen and Austin drawings the Saint points downward. Cades also experimented with the positioning of the column, moving it from left to right, with the placement of the putto, removing it entirely in the Austin drawing, and with the arrangement of the foreground ornaments.
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