52. Federico Zuccari

Sant’Angelo in Vado circa 1540 – 1609 Ancona

Sketches for Christ Raising the Son of The Widow of Nain (recto and verso), circa 1568

The painting titled Christ Raising the Son of the Widow of Nain was commissioned from Federico Zuccari in 1568 for the Duomo in Orvieto (now in the Museo del Opera del Duomo). A number of drawings can be connected to it. Among these, the compositional study preserved in Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) is so close to the end result that it must represent the last stage of preparation for the painting. Before this, Zuccari realised other sketches including the work presented here, three sheets now in Berlin and one in Philadelphia. Rather than use the different group studies in their entirety, the artist selected various elements from each drawing in the final composition. The studies display his talent as a draughtsman and the way his skills were at the service of his creative genius: the pen dances fluently over the paper, bringing together the expressive figures in various ways – by the line as well as by their postures.