Agostino Tassi (1578-1644)


Rome, 17th century

Pen and brown iron gall ink over black chalk on paper

12.1 x 15.4 cm

Three comparable sheets of groups of music-makers are at the British Museum, a group of five standing musicians was with Christie’s in 2003 and three separate figure studies engaged in playing an instrument are at the V&A, London. Two music-making women also feature in a drawing in the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.

Reworked areas are lighter in colour, with a different ink consistency. The medium, iron gall ink, shows typical losses, cracks and splits, and is particularly noticeable around the musician in the middle.

Inscriptions in brown ink LC: ingilese; LR: tedeschi; UL: agosti. Tassi 10; inscriptions in pencil on the mount LL: Aug, Tassi, Claude’s master; LC: ?170

Purchased by Friends of the Barber Institute as a gift in 2016 (No. 2016.9)


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