• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1961

    Old Master And 19th Century Drawings

    24 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 54

    Francesco Salvator Fontebasso (Venice 1707-1769)

    A pagan sacrifice

    Price Realised  

    Francesco Salvator Fontebasso (Venice 1707-1769)
    A pagan sacrifice
    with inscription 'Di Francesco Fontebasso Veneziano' and number '2923' on the mount (verso)
    black chalk, pen and two shades of brown ink, on two joined sheets, minor losses
    19¾ x 28½ in. (500 x 725 mm.)


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    Fontebasso executed many large and highly finished drawings which are not preparatory for his paintings but were destined to be sold to collectors as works of art in their own right. Most are pen and wash but a few such as the present one are in black chalk and pen and brown ink only. See, for example, the series of sixteen drawings dedicated to the story of Rinaldo and Armida at the Albertina, Vienna (M. Magrini, 'Francesco Fontebasso, i disegni', Saggi e Memorie di Storia dell'Arte, 1990, figs. 130-1, 133, 136) and The Supper at Emmaus in an English private collection, (Disegni veneti di collezioni inglesi, Venice, Fondazione Giorgi Cini, exhib. cat., 1980, no. 109). The use of two different tones of brown ink allowed the artist to individualize each figure and to increase the impression of three-dimensional space.
    We are grateful to Dr. Filippo Pedrocco for confirming the attribution of this drawing based on a photograph.