59. Bartolomeo Cesi

Bologna 1556 – 1629 Bologna

A Carthusian Monk, circa 1612 – 1616

Many of Bartolomeo Cesi’s preliminary drawings for the frescoes of the Cappella Maggiore in the Certosa in Bologna (1612-16) still survive. This sheet was executed at an advanced stage of the preparatory work. Cesi was mindful of the frame and of the space in which he placed his figures. Here the frame is determined by the format of the final painting and has been carefully outlined in brown ink: the four indented corners correspond to the decorative stucco bordering the fresco. The space is a small niche, the depth of which is conveyed by the position of the foot extending beyond the feigned edge, which creates a slight trompe-l’œil effect.