Ferraù Fenzoni

Saint John The Baptist

Ferraù Fenzoni
(Faenza 1561/2 – †1645 Faenza)

Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas, 32 x 25,5 cm

Private collection, Germany, Trier, c. 1980- 2013

Saint John the Baptist
Brown ink and wash over red chalk on oatmeal paper
31 x 20.5 cm
Inscribed: „Ferrau Fenzonio da Faenza invt. esque … imp. da Fran. Villamena …“.
bears the collector’s mark of Henry Scipio Reitlinger (1882-1950; Lugt 2274a) on a tiny label glued to the verso
On the reverse is a partial drawing of a Pieta, pricked for transfer.

New York, Doyle, 14. October 2015, No. 6


The painting and the preparatory drawing resemble the composition of an engraving after Ferraù Fenzoni by Francesco Villamena. Drawing, engraving and painting are almost identical, except for minor differences. Even the measurements nearly correspond: painting (32 x 25,5 cm), drawing (30 x 20,5 cm), engraving (31,1 x 23,5 cm).

Dr. Guiseppe Scavizzi confirmed the attribution of the present panting to Fenzoni and he dates it to c. 1590.
The inscription on the drawing reads “Ferrau Fenzonio da Faenza invt. esque. . . imp. da Fran: Villamena . . .”. The engraving’s inscription also lists place and date “Ferra Fensionius inventor/F. Villamoena sculpsit Rome/Aspectu fruitur… antra puer/cum Privilegio… 1613”.

Fenzoni, Saint John the Baptist, brown ink and wash over red chalk on oatmeal paper, 30 x 20,5 cm, Inscribed: “Ferrau Fenzonio da Faenza invt. esque. . . imp. da Fran: Villamena . . .”, Galen Galerie.
Francesco Villamena, Saint John the Baptist, engraving, 31,9 x 24,4 cm. One example of the engraving can be found in London, British Museum, Department of prints and drawings. In the collection of Luca Castrichini there is a reddish impression.
See Scavizzi/Schwed (2006), p. 364, No. S 5.

 Dr. Guiseppe Scavizzi , 21. August 2013. „For what I can see from the photograph the painting appear to me to be an original work, style and quality seem to match Fenzoni’s own, and it was probably produced in the 1590s.”; “ … I can confirm that on the base of the reproduction, my impression is that the painting is by Fenzoni.“

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