Study for the Death of Messalina

The drawing is a preparatory study for the painting of the same subject. Swiftly made in black chalk, the drawing explores the poses of the principal characters and their spatial relationships. Given the changes that exist between the drawing and the painting, it seems likely that the drawing was made at a relatively early stage in the creative process. No other preparatory drawings for this painting are known.

Black chalk (about 1704/1712)

by Francesco Solimena (Italian, 1657-1747)

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