Francisco de Herrera, d. J. ('El Mozo')
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, ehemals zugeschrieben
Der Johannesknabe mit dem Lamm, um 1660
A note in the Hamburger Kunsthalle archive questioned the old attribution to Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, since the child's proportions could not be reconciled with known Murillo figures. Still, in 1976 Jonathan Brown viewed the drawing as a late work by Murillo, and in 2012 he repeated the attribution. Crucial to his thinking were the use of a very narrow pen, the strong strokes in the shaded areas, the zigzag line on the child's left shin, and the perfunctory sketching of the hands and feet.
In the rendering of the feet, head, and face, however, this sheet closely resembles drawings by Francisco de Herrera the Younger. Also typical of him are John's slightly twisted, bending pose and the lamb's almost prancing step. Like other drawings by Herrera the Younger in Hamburg, this sheet would appear to date from the time of the founding of the Academy in Seville in 1660.
1 Brown 1976, 169, no. 82; and Brown 2012, 199.
2 Within the Hamburg collection one notes that the right hand of the young John the Baptist compares favorably with that of the young Jesus in inv. no. 38474 (cat. no. 97); overall, the child's pose echoes the elegant stance of the nobleman (inv. no. 38577, cat. no. 91); and John's head, hands, and feet match those of the three flying putti (inv. no. 38572, cat. no. 94). His head especially resembles that of the bottom cherub in that drawing.