Portrait of a Young Girl

WAG 1995.77


This drawing is by Domenico Zampieri, known as Domenichino. The identity of the girl in this portrait is unknown. It was probably made during the summer of 1634 between July and September when Domenichino left Naples to stay at Frascati, north of Rome. He lived on the estate of his patron, Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini. Whilst there he took to sketching portraits and caricatures for relaxation. This girl is too young to be Domenichino's daughter, but may be the child of a relative or friend. She may also, however, be a relative of the Cardinal, whose family issued an informal commission for a family portrait of themselves, including two young children. The painting was left unfinished when one of the Aldobrandini princes fell ill and returned to Rome. This delicate and beautiful portrait may be one of the sketches executed to fulfill this unfinished commission.