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    Sale 1961

    Old Master And 19th Century Drawings

    24 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 30

    Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino (Cento 1591-1666 Bologna)

    Cleopatra bitten by the Asp

    Price Realised  

    Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino (Cento 1591-1666 Bologna)
    Cleopatra bitten by the Asp
    red chalk, watermark Barberini arms with cardinal's hat
    8½ x 8 in. (217 x 203 mm.)

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    A study for Guercino's painting of The Death of Cleopatra now in the Palazzo Rosso, Genoa (L. Salerno, Il Dipinti del Guercino, Rome, 1988, no. 252). It is almost certainly the 'Quadro di Cleopatra' for which Guercino's account books record that the Abbate Carlo Emanuele Durazzo on 24 March 1648 paid 125 ducatoni (B. Ghelfi, op. cit., p. 138, no. 387). Guercino painted another version of the subject, now lost, for which he was paid on 8 March 1650 (B. Ghelfi, op. cit., p. 146, no. 420). Although there are small differences between the drawing and the picture, Sir Denis Mahon considers the drawing preparatory for the 1648 picture rather than that of 1650 (D. Mahon, op. cit., p. 213).
    Another drawing of the subject, in pen and brown ink, was in the Stichting Collectie P. en N. de Boer, Christie's, London, 4 July 1995, lot 55 (C. van Tuyll, op. cit., no. 54).


    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 8 July 1975, lot 28.
    With Herman Shickman, New York, 1976.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 22 January 2004, lot 37.


    C. van Tuyll, Guercino Drawings from Dutch Collections, exhib. cat., Haarlem, Teylers Museum, 1991, under no. 54.
    D.M. Stone, Guercino, Master Draughtsman: Works from North American Collections, exhib. cat., Cambridge, Mass., Arthur M. Sackler Museum, and elsewhere, 1991, p. xix, pl. XIII, and p. 226, no. 227.
    P. Boccardo, Genova e Guercino, exhib. cat., Genoa, Palazzo Rosso, 1992, p. 76.
    B. Ghelfi, Il libro dei conti del Guercino 1629-1666, Bologna, 1997, p. 138, n. 387.


    Bologna, Museo Civico Archeologico, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino, Disegni, 1991, no. 138.