The J. Paul Getty Museum

An Angel Blowing a Trumpet (recto); The Virgin and Child with Kneeling Saints (verso)

Object Details


An Angel Blowing a Trumpet (recto); The Virgin and Child with Kneeling Saints (verso)


Mattia Preti (Italian, 1613 - 1699)




about 1652


Red chalk (recto); black chalk (verso)

Object Number:



19.7 × 23.2 cm (7 3/4 × 9 1/8 in.)

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Object Description

A chubby angel sweeps down from the right, cheeks puffed out as he blows air forcefully into his outstretched trumpet. Mattia Preti used dark, exuberant strokes of red chalk to outline the arms, chest, eyebrows, and cheeks of the angel. He used light hatching to give texture and to create shadows, and quickly sketched the position of the wings.

Preti created this work as a preparatory study for a fresco in the cupola of the church of San Biagio in Modena, Italy. In that church, a nearly identical angel hovers over a window on the rim of the cupola, directing his trumpet towards Saint Jerome. Knowing that Preti finished his work on the frescoes in the church by March 1652, scholars guess that this drawing was finished sometime before this. Despite the pentimenti along the angel's right arm and an added twist to the shape of the trumpet, this drawing is very similar to the fresco and must represent a final stage in the preparation of the composition.

1793 -

Alessandro Maggiori (L.3005b), Italian,

by 1967
by 1971

Private Collection [sold, Old Master Drawings, Christie's, New York, January 24, 2001, lot 43, to the J. Paul Getty Museum]

Visions of Grandeur: Drawing in the Baroque Age (June 1 to September 12, 2004) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 1 to September 12, 2004

Barcia Pavón, Angel María de. Catálogo de la colección de dibujos originales de la Biblioteca Nacional. (Madrid: Tip. de la Revista de arch., bibl. y museos, 1906), p. 605.

Hodgkin, Richard. Catalogue, 1967/ Dealers in Old Master Drawings (R. Hodgkin Ltd.: London, 1967), no. 6.

Vitzthum, Walter. I disegni dei Maestri: Il barocco a Napoli e nell'Italia meridionale. Milan: Fabbri, 1970, p. 89, fig. 19 (recto).

Italian 17th Century Drawings from British Private Collections, exh. cat. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Festival, 1972), pp. 35, 117, no. 91, ill.

Ippoliti, Carolina, et. al. Matti Preti: Disegno e colore. Cartanzaro: Abramo, 1991, p. 118, 253.

Corace, Erminia. Mattia Preti dal segno al colore. Rome: E. Corace, 1996, p. 80, fig. 36.

Utili, Mariella, ed. Mattia Preti tra Roma, Napoli e Malta, exh. cat. (Naples: Museo di Capodimonte, 1999), p. 215.

Spike, John T. Mattia Preti: catalogo ragionato dei dipinti; catalogue raisonné of the paintings (Taverna: Museo Civico; Florence: Centro Di, 1999), p. 188, d.2.

Christie's, New York. Old Master Drawings. January 24, 2001, pp. 60-61, lot 43, ill.