Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Preview image of work. black and red chalk on paper,  Woman and Child 29268

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Woman and Child


Bernadino Poccetti (Barbatelli) (Florence, Italy, 1548 - 1612, Florence, Italy)


Woman and Child

Creation Date



early 17th century


8 7/8 in. x 6 3/8 in. (22.5 cm. x 16.2 cm.)

Object Type


Creation Place

Europe, Italy

Medium and Support

black and red chalk on paper

Credit Line

Bequest of the Honorable James Bowdoin III


Public Domain

Accession Number


As a final preparatory study for a figurative group in a lunette fresco, this drawing resolved a compositional challenge. As the lightly drawn arc above the woman’s left shoulder indicates, the figures were to be placed in the extreme right of the fresco, directing the viewer’s attention to and framing the historical narrative unfolding in the center. The existing fresco, one of fourteen by Poccetti for the Chiostri dei Morti (Cloister of the Dead) of Santissima Annunziata, Florence, closely follows this drawing, while a pen and ink drawing of the entire lunette, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, represents an earlier planning stage. The series illustrates the founding and early history of the Servite Order. Poccetti, highly successful in the era of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, enriched his works with engaging details in order to fulfill the church’s request “to delight, to teach, to move."