Red chalk, 306 x 201 mm. On light brown paper with the watermark letters P M in circle. On the verso, in pencil, inventory numbers and a modern attribution to Zuccarelli.
PROVENANCE: Cesare Frigerio, Lugt 4363; Stanza del Borgo, Milan; private collection, Milan.
The drawing is a preparatory study for one of the background figures on the left, behind St. Nicholas, just under his right hand, in the painting St. Nicholas of Tolentino Shows the Cross, which is preserved in the church of S. Michele in S. Agostino in Imola. A modello for the painting, dated 1769, exists in the collection of the Pinacoteca Civica of the same town.
Another drawing by Ubaldo for the same figure is in Madrid.
D. Biagi Maino, Ubaldo Gandolfi, Turin 1990; nos. 51 and 52 of the catalogue, figures 93 and 94; the first is the modello the second the final painting.
S. Bareggi, Disegnare, un’arte stupefacente. Fogli dal XVI al XIX Secolo. exhibition catalogue of the gallery Stanza del Borgo, Milan, March 1984, page 92, illustrated (as Gaetano Gandolfi).
D. Biagi Maino in, Various Authors, Il Museo come programma. Restauri del patrimonio artistico della città e della Diocesi d’Imola, catalogue of the exhibition in Imola, April-June 1985, Imola 1985; pages 99-100, mentioned as Ubaldo Gandolfi.
P. Bagni, I Gandolfi, Affreschi, Dipinti, Bozzetti, Disegni, Bologna 1992, p. 114, illustrated.
Member of a prominent family of artists in late eighteenth-century Bologna, Ubaldo Gandolfi studied, as his younger brother Gaetano, at the Accademia Clementina, where he was taught by Ercole Graziani II, Felice Torelli and Ercole Lelli. Possibly he spent some of the time travelling, for Oretti states that he vidde Firenze, Venezia, ed altre famose scuole. In 1760 Ubaldo was elected to the Accademia Clementina and appointed to the post of instructor of drawing. Ubaldo worked primarily as a religious painter, producing altarpieces for country churches and devotional paintings for city patrons. He is documented as a sculptor, and a few works executed in terracotta are known.