List of Artworks

Research Notes: Part 2, no. 20, Folio 9 verso

Alessandro Turchi, Lot and His Daughters (red chalk)
Fig. II, 20, a
Alessandro Turchi (Italian, 1578–1649)
Title: Lot and His Daughters
Date: n. d.
Medium: Red chalk, pen and brown ink on light brown paper
Dimensions: diam.: 14 cm (5 1/2 in.)
Current location: Location unknown
Image Source: Christie's
Provenance

M. Polakovits (his mark, not in Lugt).

Several versions of this subject attributed to Alessandro Turchi exist in different galleries and private collections, although none corresponds exactly to the descriptions provided by the Mellini inventory and poem. Thus we can assume that the painting in the Mellini collection was a work by Turchi that has been lost. An important issue is that the Mellini version was described as being on wood panel; the versions known today are on canvas. Fausto Nicolai suggests that the painting in the Mellini collection could have been based on the drawing sold by Christie’s in 2008 (fig. II, 20, a).1

Another possible source for the painting owned by the Mellini family could be the drawing now in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich (no. 6670) (fig. II, 20, b).2 In his analysis of 1971, Erich Schleier argues that the Munich drawing, the attribution for which had not been confirmed at the time he was writing (in the catalogue by Daniela Scaglietti Kelescian, 1999, fig. 62, the attribution appears to have been accepted), could have been a study for a known work by Turchi or a work now lost (fig. II, 20, b).3 In this version, an inscription at lower right reads “Dominiquain.” However, Hermann Voss was the first author to attribute the drawing to Turchi.

Alessandro Turchi, Lot and His Daughters (black chalk) Fig. II. 20, b
Alessandro Turchi
Lot and his Daughters
n. d.
Black chalk, brown wash
27.8 x 38.8 cm (11 x 15 3/8 in.)
Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, inv. no. 6670
JStor (Erich Schleier, “Drawings by Alessandro Turchi,” Master Drawings 9, no. 2 [1971]: 193 [pl. 19])

Other versions of this subject painted by Turchi not pictured here are in the Dresden Gemäldegalerie, inventory no. 1972; in the Leger Galleries in London (1964); in the Musei Civici, Padua, inventory no. 482; and in the Martini collection in Venice.4

This was another work that came from the collection of paintings put together by Giovan Battista Mellini in the 1620s. In the inventory of 1627, it is described as: “Un quadro alto un palmo e mezzo con Lotto e le sue due Figlie” (“A picture a palm and a half high with Lot and his two Daughters”).5 It remained in the Mellini collection until the middle of the eighteenth century. In the inventory of Mario Mellini IV of 1738, it is described as: “Altro di mezza testa piccolo in tavola p[er] traverso rapp[resentan]te Lotte Ubriaco dalle figliole con cor[ni]ce a cassa intagliata rabescara d’argento” (“Another small painting, half a head across, on panel, depicting Lot made Drunk by his daughters, in a silver box frame carved with arabesques”).6

Footnotes

  • 1. Fausto Nicolai, Mecenati a confronto: Committenza, collezionismo e mercato dell’arte nella Roma del primo Seicento: Le famiglie Massimo, Altemps, Naro e Colonna (Rome: Campisano, 2008).
  • 2. Erich Schleier, “Drawings by Alessandro Turchi,” Master Drawings 9, no. 2 (1971): 139–207.
  • 3. Schleier, “Drawings by Alessandro Turchi,” 139–207; Daniela Scaglietti Kelescian, ed., Alessandro Turchi, detto l’Orbetto, 1578–1649, exh. cat. (Milan: Electa, 1999), 174.
  • 4. Scaglietti Kelescian, Alessandro Turchi, detto l’Orbetto, 174.
  • 5. Fausto Nicolai, “Le ‘molte pitture moderne buone’ nella raccolta di Giovan Battista Mellini (1591–1627),” Rivista d’arte, ser. 5, vol. 2 (2012): 217–35. See “Appendice” on pages 231–34 for the transcription of “Inventario dei quadri lasciati in eredità da Giovan Battista Mellini allo zio cardinale Giovanni Garzi,” in Archivio di Stato di Roma, Rome, 30 Notai Capitolini, uff. 31, vol. 118, ff. 774–90, 11 ago.1627, 233.
  • 6. Archivio Serlupi Crescenzi, Rome, Inventario dei mobili di Mon Mario Mellini, vol. 84, 1738, fol. 54.

References

Šafařík, Eduard A. Palazzo Colonna. Rome: De Luca, 1999.

Scaglietti Kelescian, Daniela, ed. Alessandro Turchi, detto l’Orbetto, 1578–1649. Exh. cat. Milan: Electa, 1999.