Study for 'The Entombment'




Study for 'The Entombment'

Date of Production

(circa) 1527


traces of black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash and white bodycolour (now oxidised in several areas) on laid paper; prominent black ink stains across the verso


Height: 15.5 cm
Width: 16.9 cm

Accession Number


Mode of Acquisition

Count Antoine Seilern, bequest, 1978


The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)


Not currently on display


Label Text

The Entombment is the most ambitious of Parmigianino’s etchings. Its gestation was also the most complicated. This drawing is one of several studies relating to the second version of two etchings (G.1978.PG.36), after the first plate suffered damage. With characteristic resourcefulness, the artist turned this setback into a creative opportunity. The drawing focuses on one of the elements that changed the most between the two prints: the bearded man standing beside Christ, usually identified as Joseph of Arimathea. As is clear from the number of corrections to Joseph’s arm and legs, Parmigianino explored numerous possibilities before he arrived at a satisfactory solution.


A study for the 'Entombment' (Bartsch XVI, p. 8, no. 5, fig. 18), generally accepted as one of the few etchings executed by Parmigianino himself. There is also an etching after it by Rosaspina, recorded then as being in Armano's collection. There are several other studies, including at the British Museum (1905,1110.12).


probably Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (1585-1646) [known originator of Parmigianino drawings eventually owned by Armano]; by descent to Henry Stafford-Howard, 1st Earl of Stafford (1648-1719); his sale, Tart Hall, London, 1720; purchased there by Antonio Maria Zanetti, Venice (1680-1757); acquired from him by Giovanni Antonio Armano, Venice (active 1780s), c. 1800 [when etched by Francesco Rosaspina 'Dal Gabinetto del Sig. Gio. Antonio Armano']; purchased from him by Baron Dominique-Vivant Denon, Paris (1747-1825); his estate sale, 1 – 19 May 1826, lot 380 ('Dessin à la plume et au lavis; sujet de ensevelissement de notre Seigneur'); Sir Thomas Lawrence, London (1769-1830), L.2445 (lower left); William Coningham, Brighton (1815-1884), L.476 (lower right); Victor Ezekiel, Esq., his sale, Sotheby's (London), 1 February 1956, lot 13; purchased there by Hans M. Calmann, London (1899-1982) (£105); Colnaghi (London); purchased there by Count Antoine Seilern, London (1901-1978), 28 February 1957 (£300); Princes Gate Bequest 1978 See Popham 1971 for the provenance of Parmigianino drawings from Arundel to Denon.

Exhibition History

Drawings Gallery Display - The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 03/05/2022-06/05/2022

Parmigianino - Paintings, Drawings, Prints, The Courtauld, London, 14/05/1987-12/07/1987


The Art of Experiment: Parmigianino at The Courtauld, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 2022
ill. on p. 128
pp. 15, 118, 126-27, 130-31
cat. no. 25a

Gnann, Achim, Parmigianino: Die Zeichnungen, Petersberg 2007
ill. on p. 235
vol. I, pp. 114, 388 and vol. II, no. 245
dated to Roman period 1524-26

Reed, Sue Welsh and Richard Wallace (eds.), Italian Etchers of the Renaissance and Baroque, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cleveland Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1989
p. 16 ...More

Parmigianino - Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Courtauld, London, 1987
cat. no. 17

Popham, A. E., Catalogue of the Drawings of Parmigianino, New Haven and London 1971
pl. 159
no. 765

Seilern, Count Antoine, Corrigenda and Addenda to the Catalogue of paintings and drawings at 56 Princes Gate, London, London 1971
no. 97

Popham, A.E., Artists working in Parma in the sixteenth century, British Museum, London 1967
p. 59 under no. 94

Seilern, Count Antoine, Italian paintings and drawings at 56 Princes Gate, London, SW7, London 1959; II
Fig. p. pl. LVI
no. 97
dated: before 1527

Fröhlich-Bum, Lili, 'Additions to a corpus of drawings of Parmigianino' in 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts', Jan. 1958 - pp. 9-14; 51
Fig. p. repr.
p. 12, no. 4 ...Less


Watermark: Watermark: none evident, though paper quality makes it difficult to discern.

Inscription: none on the drawing sheet. False margin (removed in 1987, now stored in object file), Recto: lower left corner, green ink: “80”; lower right corner, graphite: “Parmeg”. False margin, Verso: lower centre, graphite: “WC 1192”; lower right, graphite: "33". Mount (removed, in box of mounts in P&D), Recto: upper right, black ink: “Parmigianino”; lower right edge, graphite, Colnaghi number: “27889”.

Collector's mark: Recto: lower left corner, blindstamped: Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445); lower right corner, blindstamped: William Coningham (L.476).

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