About this artwork

This drawing is a preparatory study for Preti’s painting in the church of San Domenico in Siena Canonisation of Saint Catherine, about 1670. There is a further study for this figure, who appears in the bottom left of the finished painting, in the British Museum. The bottom left corner of this sheet bares a small stamp ‘Sr JL’. This is the collector’s stamp of  the artist Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 17892), who had a vast collection of drawings by old masters. Also visible is the stamp ‘R H’. This is  mark of a London-based collector and auctioneer Richard Houlditch Junior (about 1659 - 1736).

Updated before 2020

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Mattia Preti

Mattia Preti

Mattia Preti (1613 – 1699) was from Calabria in southern Italy. He worked in Naples and Rome before basing himself in Malta for 30 years until his death. He was a keen follower of Caravaggio, as well as Domenichino and Pietro da Cortona. In 1660, he was made a Knight of Malta (the Order of Saint John) and is often known as the ‘Cavaliere Calabrese’ (the Calabrian Knight).