Dulwich Picture Gallery II


British School DPG380

British (or Flemish) School after a print by Aegidius Sadeler II, after Parmigianino or Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli
DPG380 – Head of a Woman

c. 1593 or 1595–1686; paper on canvas, 50.8 x 41.6 cm

?Cartwright Bequest, 1686 (no. 103, £3, ‘by Bur; A womans head on a bord, dun by M. Burbige ye Actor in an ould gilt frame’); Dulwich College, 1890.

?Lysons 1792–6, i, p. 109;1 Sparkes & Carver 1890, p. 36, no. 68 (attributed to R. Burbage; not Cartwright 103);2 Richter & Sparkes 1892 and 1905, p. 105, no. 380; Cook 1914, pp. 222–4, no. 380 (R. Burbage);3 Cook 1926, pp. 207–9, no. 380; Cat. 1953, p. 13 (R. Burbage); Murray 1980a, p. 302, no. 380 (attributed to Burbage); Beresford 1998, p. 307, cat. 380 (Unknown); Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 312 (British or Flemish school after Sadeler after Parmigianino or Bedoli); RKD, no. 275035: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/275035 (Jan. 27, 2017).

London 1987–8, pp. 24 (?), 54, no. 38 (G. Ashton; North Italian School).

The appearance and condition are poor. The lining is old. The paint is raised in thick ridges, and the varnish is discoloured and dark. Previous recorded treatment: 1987, surface cleaned and paint blisters secured, Area Museums Service for South Eastern England.

1) Aegidius Sadeler II after Parmigianino or Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli, Madonna with a Rose, engraving on paper, 143 (trimmed) x 106 mm, inscribed ‘F. Parmensis / Inventor / EG. S. Sculp.’ BM, London, 1851,0308.1027 [1].4
2a) Parmigianino or Girolamo Bedoli, Madonna and Child with a Monk, panel, 27.3 x 21.6 cm (including additions). Alte Pinakothek, Munich, 5289.5
2b) Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli, Madonna with a Rose, panel, 35.7 x 28.2 cm. Národní Galerie v Praze, Prague, O 10147 [2].6

In the catalogue of the 1987–8 Cartwright exhibition Ashton had suggested that this was based on a work by a North Italian artist outside the Veneto, and that has proved to be correct. It is after an engraving by Aegidius Sadeler II (1568–1629) of Madonna and Child with a Monk (Related works, no. 1) [1] made when he was in Verona in 1593 or 1595. The Dulwich picture only shows the area of the Madonna’s head. Sadeler engraved his print after a painting in the collection of Agostino Giusti (Related works, no. 2). That painting was then believed to be by Parmigianino (1503–40); later it was ascribed to Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli (c. 1500–c. 1569), a cousin and collaborator of Parmigianino, but it has recently been reattributed to Parmigianino.7 The Giusti picture has been in Munich since the beginning of the 17th century. Many variants of this picture exist, for instance in Prague (Related works, no. 2b) [2] and in the Corsini collection in Florence.8 There are some differences between the engraving and the Munich painting, of which the most important are the absence of the monk (St Bruno?) and the different view of the rose in the hand of the Madonna.

DPG380 was probably painted by a professional British or Flemish artist working in London. The old attribution to the actor and painter Richard Burbage (1567–1619) was based on the belief that it was no. 103 in Cartwright’s inventory, and repeated in a description in 1792. The fact that it is on paper laid on canvas, and not ‘on board’, is an argument against the identification with the Cartwright inventory picture.9

British (or Flemish) School after a print by Aegidius Sadeler II, after Parmigianino or Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli
Head of a Woman, c. 1593 or 1595–1686
paper on canvas, 50.8 x 41.6 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv.no. DPG380

Aegidius Sadeler (II) after Parmigianino
Madonna with a Rose
paper, engraving 143 (trimmed) x 106 mm
London (England), British Museum, inv./cat.nr. 1851,0308.1027

Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli after Parmigianino
Madonna with a rose
panel (beech), oil paint 35,7 x 28,2 cm
Prague, Národní Galerie v Praze, inv./cat.nr. O 10147


1 ‘by Burbadge the actor, in chiaro-obscuro’.

2 ‘This picture has been commonly identified with No. 103 in Cartwright’s catalogue […] The identification, however, can hardly be correct. It will be observed that this picture is on canvas, while the head painted by Burbage was on panel.’

3 ‘It seems permissible […] to attribute a slip to Cartwright’s Catalogue, and still to hold this picture to be a veritable work by Burbage.’

4 RKD, no. 282611: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/282611 (April 12, 2017), see also https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1851-0308-1027 (May 16, 2020); Pujmanová 1997–8, pp. 22–3 (fig. 15).

5 RKD, no. 300477: 611: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/300477 (March 16, 2021). Milstein 1978, pp. 146–9, fig. 9; Baumstark 2007, pp. 147–8, no. 1 (A. Gnann).

6 RKD, no. 286472: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/286472 (May 16, 2020); Pujmanová 1997–8, p. 21.

7 Baumstark 2007.

8 Pujmanová 1997–8, p. 21.

9 Another painting at Dulwich associated with Burbage is DPG395, which Ingamells catalogued as a portrait ‘called Richard Burbage’ by an unknown artist: Ingamells 2008, p. 66.

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