Black chalk. 230 x 160 mm.
The drawing is a copy of one of the statues by the school of Bernini, that adorn the colonnade of St. Peter's square. In the eighties of the eighteenth century, Pietro Bombelli published in Rome (1779-1801) a collection of prints depicting the complete set of statues. The drawings for the series were mainly executed by two artists: Giuseppe Cades and Antonio Cavallucci. For the drawings by Cades see M. T. Caracciolo, Giuseppe Cades, 1750-1799, et la Rome de son temps, Paris 1990; cat. no. 79, pages 274, 275, 276, 277. For examples of other drawings by Cavallucci for the prints see M. T. Caracciolo, Giuseppe Cades e dintorni, exhibition catalogue, Museo Archeologico di Amelia, 2008; nos. 39, 40, 41.
Cavallucci's artistic talents were recognized by the Duke of Sermoneta, Francesco Caetani, who brought the 13 year old boy to Rome, where he became a pupil of Stefano Pozzi and, later, of Gaetano Lapis. He also studied drawing at the Accademia di San Luca. His earlier work dates from the mid-1760s but his first major commission was the decoration of five rooms in the Caetani Palace in Rome, in 1776. In the early 1780s he painted mostly portraits, including that of his patron Francesco Caetani. In 1786 he painted 'The Origin of Music', probably the most important painting of his mid-career. In subsequent years, new commissions kept coming under his new patron, Cardinal Romualdo Braschi-Onesti, nephew of the pope Pius VI. Cavallucci was inducted into the Accademia di San Luca in 1786, Academy of Arcadia in 1788, and the Congregazione dei Virtuosi al Pantheon in 1788.