The presentation in the Temple

The presentation in the Temple - Dessin à l'encre brune, lavis et traces de craie avec l'inscription "Poussin"

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Technique:

Lot n° 67
15 cm x 10.8 cm
Cf. [Friedlaender-Blunt, V, 396; Rosenber-Prat, II, R673, R222; Rosenber-Prat, XXXIV, 4]
Bears old attribution in pen and brown ink lower right: Poussin

This accomplished drawing relates to Mellin’s first documented painting in Naples, The Presentation in the Temple, commissioned in 1643 for the church of the Santissima Annunziata, and destroyed in the fire of 1757.  The composition and development of this much admired painting is known from two engravings, six autograph drawings and two copies.1  Of all the surviving drawings, this one seems to be the closest to the final painted version, as recorded in the two known engravings.  The first of those prints, a near-contemporary work, in the past believed to be executed by Pietro del Po (active in Naples 1644-47), credits the design of the composition to Poussin, while the second, a much later aquatint by Francesco Rosaspina (1762-1841), is dated 1784 and claims to reproduce a drawing by Guido Reni.