Support: Cream (3) laid paper
Sheet: 25.3 x 35.1 cm (9 15/16 x 13 13/16 in.); Secondary Support: 31.6 x 43.6 cm (12 7/16 x 17 3/16 in.)
Gift of Nancy West 2003.7
This sheet of studies in red chalk was made in preparation for the composition Miriam Leading
the Chorus of Women Who Give Thanks for the Routing of Pharaoh, a final episode in the story of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt. The Bolognese artist Marcantonio Franceschini painted the cartoon of the complete composition between 1711 and 1712, and it was used to decorate an important papal building, the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome, where it remains today. While the studies of feet and the head and shoulders with raised arms are for the principal figure of Miriam playing the tambourine, the arm on the right and the two hands holding a rod are studies for an attendant figure who plays the triangle behind Miriam.
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