Collecting And Connoisseurship

When conceived as preliminary studies, Italian drawings often did not survive after the related project was completed. Some, however, were passed to family members or students or acquired by collectors. One of the first such collectors was Giorgio Vasari, who considered his multivolume Libro dei Disegni (Book of Drawings)—featuring elaborately mounted works by artists ranging from Giotto to draftsmen of his time—to be an extension of his Vite (Lives of the Artists). Subsequent collectors, including Padre Sebastiano Resta, Jonathan Richardson Sr., and Pierre-Jean Mariette, built on Vasari’s example, adding their own marks to those made by the draftsmen whose work they acquired, employing handwritten inscriptions, custom-made mats, and personalized stamps. Stamps were also used by two Princetonians, former Museum director Frank Jewett Mather Jr. and Dan Fellows Platt, Class of 1895, whose gifts and bequests of Italian drawings, made in the 1930s and 1940s, form the foundation of the Museum’s collection.


  • 8189
    Marco da Faenza (Marco Marchetti), Italian, 1528 - 1588
    Study for a Decorative Wall Frieze with Female Supporting Figures, ca. 1570–75
  • 14525
    Marco da Faenza (Marco Marchetti), Italian, 1528 - 1588
    Study for a Decorative Wall Frieze with Telamons, ca. 1570–75
  • 6031
    attributed to Cesare Nebbia, Italian, 1536 - 1614
    Young Man Grasping a Column, ca. 1575
  • 16706
    Pelagio Palagi, Italian, 1775 - 1860
    Medea Killing Her Children, 1810–1815
  • 7185
    Parmigianino, Italian, 1503–1540
    Nude Youth with Goats, ca. 1523–24
  • 10423
    Parmigianino, Italian, 1503–1540
    Young Woman Carrying a Vessel, late 1530s
  • 13833
    Parmigianino, Italian, 1503–1540
    Male Torso in Armor Seen from the Rear: Study for Soffit Decoration in San Giovanni Evangelista, ca. 1522–24
  • 56313
    Parmigianino, Italian, 1503–1540
    Studies for figure of Victory; seated figure of Pallas Athena, ca. 1531–35
  • 8740
    Pordenone (Giovanni Antonio de Sacchis), Italian, 1483 - 1539
    Standing Saint Roch: Study for the Saint Gothard Altarpiece, ca. 1525–26
  • 8419
    Filippo Bellini, Italian, ca. 1550–1603
    Study for the Last Supper, ca. 1603