1646 — Florence — 1712
Peter and Paul Resurrect the Son of Theophilis, King of Syria, at Antioch
black chalk. 121/2 x 175/8" (318 x 448 mm). inscribed in black ink by an old hand l/l: 0000 - P.D. a label l/r reads: N. Poussin and 58913. on the verso l/r in a modern hand: Prince Demidoff Coll. also on the verso is the red chalk impression of a drawing which had lain behind this, presumably in an album.
Pietro was the pupil of his uncle, Vincenzo Dandini. He travelled to Venice, Lombardy, Emilia, and Rome, making copies of paintings he saw. Upon his return, he quickly acquired a reputation as an accomplished and speedy artist. For Cosimo III he worked in the Uffizi, in S. Maria Maddelena dei Pazzi and in the Villa Petraia. He worked for Vittoria della Rovere in the Palazzo Pitti and the Villa di Poggio Imperiale. In fact, Dandini was given numerous significant commissions of the day.1
The present drawing is unusually complete and quite finished for the artist. Most of Dandini's extant graphic oeuvre is of a much sketchier nature such as his many single figure studies and academies in the Louvre.2 Pietro is not known to have made engravings; so the highly finished nature of the present sheet, akin to the type of drawing an artist might prepare for an engraving, must have had another purpose. Perhaps it was a presentation drawing, a detailed rendering which would be presented to a patron so that he could approve the design before the actual commission was begun. Yet no indication of a painting of this subject is now known. Comparably grand, multi-figured compositions were painted by Dandini and exist today. See for example, A Battle, in a private Florentine collection and the Crucification in the Corradini Collection, Florence.
The monogram P.D. is typical of the initialing often found on the drawings of the Dandini: C.D., P.D., O.D., or V.D. It was most likely applied by a member of the family who had inherited the four artists’ drawings and sought to maintain the distinctions amongst them.
The Twilight of the Medici, Late Baroque Art in Florence, 1670-1743, Detroit & Florence, 1974, p. 210.
See for instance, Dessins baroques florentins du musée du Louvre, Paris, 1982, pp. 206-209.