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    Sale 1961

    Old Master And 19th Century Drawings

    24 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 49

    Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804)

    A riderless horse galloping in front of a fortified tower, a Punchinello lying on the ground in the distance

    Price Realised  

    Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804)
    A riderless horse galloping in front of a fortified tower, a Punchinello lying on the ground in the distance
    signed 'Domo. Tiepolo f'
    black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, watermark 'A/HF'
    11¼ x 16 in. (286 x 406 mm.)


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    Gealt and Knox compare this drawing to Oriental lancer approaching a town in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (J. Bean and W. Griswold, 18th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1990, pp. 262-3, no. 261). Of nearly identical dimensions, both have a horse charging towards a distant town led by a dog and observed by an old man wearing a turban. The Crocker drawing also includes a second horse with a rider in the distance, and a Punchinello lying, perhaps dead, in front of a walled town. These incongruous elements make for an elusive subject, and are typical of Domenico's inventive fantasies.
    As Gealt and Knox note, equestrian subjects have a unique place in Venetian art as the city's canals and bridges would prohibit it from being an urban pursuit. Domenico often placed horses and riders in indeterminate landscapes with vaguely orientalist figures adding a further air of mystery to these scenes.
    The horse is repeated in reverse in a drawing that was sold at Sotheby's Parke Bernet, New York, 22 November 1970, lot 25.

    Provenance

    Geheimrat Ehlers, Göttingen; Leipzig, C.G. Boerner, 9-10 May 1930, lot. 492.
    William H. Crocker (1861-1937), Burlingame, California; thence by descent to his son
    Charles Crocker (1904-61), San Francisco; thence by descent to the present owners.


    Literature

    A.M. Gealt and G. Knox, Giandomenico Tiepolo: Scene di vita quotidiana a Venezia e nella terraferma, Venice, 2005, p. 35, pp. 110-111, no. 21 (as Cavallo senza cavaliere fuori da una città murata).