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Last updated: 1/25/2017
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Old Master Drawings and Prints / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Old Master Drawings: Pier Francesco Mola (1612-1666).

North Italian Illuminated Manuscript / Italian Old Master Drawings: An Overview / Italian School, 16th-Century Drawings
Michelangelo Buonarotti (After) / Raphael / Giulio Romano / Perino del Vaga / Marcantonio Raimondi / Parmigianino
Titian (after) / Andrea Schiavone / Tintoretto / Veronese / Taddeo Zuccaro / Federico Zuccaro / Alessandro Casolani
Jacopo Palma il Giovane / Cherubino Alberti / Luca Cambiaso / Annibale Carracci / Ludovico Carracci

Italian School, 17th-Century Drawings / Bolognese School / Giovanni Baglione / Matteo Rosselli / Ercole Bazzicaluva
Baldassare Franceschini called Il Volterrano / Pier Francesco Mazzuccelli, il Morazzone / Odoardo Fialetti / Simone Cantarini
Domenichino / Francesco Albani / Giovanni Lanfranco / Guercino / Pier Francesco Mola / Antonio Busca

Italian School Printmakers, 15th-17th Centuries: Venetian School, c. 1497 / Raphael School / Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio
Marcantonio Raimondi / The Master of the Die / Anea Vico / Agostino Veneziano / Nicholas Beatrizet
Michelangelo Buonarotti (After) / Giulio Bonasone / Giovanni Battista Franco /Girolamo Fagiuoli / Cherubino Alberti
Titian (after) / Tintoretto (after) / Parmigianino / Giorgio Ghisi / Diana Scultori / Annibale Carracci / Ludovico Carracci
Agostino Carracci / Simone Cantarini / Elisabetta Sirani / Gerolamo Scarsello

Netherlandish School, 15th-17th-Century Drawings / Flemish School, 17th-Century
Bernaert van Orley / Lucas van Leyden / Maarten de Vos / Jan Baptiste de Wael / Abraham Bloemaert
Peter Paul Rubens / Philipp Sadeler / Nicolaes Maes / Rembrandt School

Netherlandish Printmakers 16th-17th Centuries: Lucas van Leyden, Maarten van Heemskerck, Cornelis Cort
Philips Galle, Abraham de Bruyn, Hans (Jan) Collaert, Adriaen Collaert, Karel de Mallery, Theodore Galle, Hendrik Goltzius
Julius Goltzius, Jacob Matham, Jan Sanraedam, Maarten de Vos, Jan Sadeler, Aegidius Sadeler, Raphael Sadeler
Crispin de Passe, Magdalena de Passe, Wierix Brothers, Rembrandt, Rembrandt School, Jan Lievens, Jan Joris van Vliet,
Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck
German Drawings: Hans Sebald Beham / Virgil Solis / Hans von Aachen / Joseph Heinrich Roos
German 16th century printmakers: Heinrich Aldegrever, Jost Amman, Hans Sebald Beham, Hans Brosamer, Hans Burgkmair,
Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Durer, Albrecht Durer (After), Hans Holbein (After), Hopfer Brothers, Georg Pencz, Hans Schäufelein,
Virgil Solis, Wolfgang Stuber

French Drawings: Charles de La Fosse / Etienne Parrocel / François Boucher / Jean-François de Neufforge / Mouricault
French printmakers: Etienne Delaune / Rene Boyvin /Thomas de Leu / Jean Cousin the Younger / Jacques Callot
Abraham Bosse / Sebastien Bourdon / Claude Gelle "le Lorraine" / Jean LePautre
Claudine Bouzonnet Stella / Antonette Bouzonnet Stella / Gabriel Perelle

19th-Century Drawings / 20th-Century Drawings
Mola was a painter and etcher. He was born in Coldrerio in 1612 and died in Rome in 1666. Richard Wallace captures the essence of his drawing style; "he was a brilliant draftsmn—the master of a bold fluid line and brilliant washes" and laments that he made so few prints (Sue Walsh Reed and Richad Wallace, Italian Etchers of the Renaissance & Baroque [Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1989], p. 196). Graf praises his technique with the brush, "at once free yet sure. In such drawings Mola, whose gifts were essentially painterly, is less concerned with an exact drawing of the figures than with planning a composition based on the interplay of light and shade" (commentary on n. 105). Graf notes that in some cases "no documentary evidence of a painting by Mola" on the subject of a drawing may exist. Jacob Bean, discussing three drawings in the Princeton University Art Museum, makes it clear that he thinks the qualities that allow a drawing to be attributed to Mola are sufficiently strong indicators that they are grounds for changing attributions: "The style of the sheet proclaims it to be the work of Pier Francesco Mola": "washes are used broadly to unify a design sketched in angular, abbreviated pen work" (40-41). One need only look at a number of his drawings to recognize that his hand can indeed proclaim a work his even when it is not—as most of his drawings are not—signed by the artist. Mola recently entered the higher reaches of auction activity with the sale of a painting for over $8,000,000.

Selected Bibliography: Jacob Bean, Italian Drawings in the Art Museum, Princeton University (Princeton: The Art Museum, 1966), n. 53-55; G. Briganti et al, Pier Francesco Mola, 1612-1666 (Lugano, Museo Cantonale d'Arte, 1989), John Gently, Pier Francesco Mola nella colleziono svizzere (Lugano: Antiquario Bruno Scardeoni; Dieter Graf, Master Drawings of the Roman Baroque from the Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf. A Selection from the Lambert Krahe Collection (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973), plates 102-112.
Pier Francesco Mola (Italian, 1612-1666), attributed to, Adoration of the Shepherds. Pen and brown ink and wash on thin laid paper, c. 1650. Lower right corner detached, holes and thin spots across the top of the drawing where the work was once glued down restored. Roseline Bacou, Great Drawings of the Louvre Museum: The Italian Drawings (NY: George Braziller, 1968), notes (fig. 92) that "Pier Francesco Mola did most of his early work in Northern Italy and did not go to Rome until 1642. The sensibility of his eclectic nature is disclosed in his poetic evocations of landscape backgrounds which show the influence of the Venitian school and of Guercino's luminism." Image size: 237x203mm. Price: $18,500.

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