• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 2282

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings, & Watercolors

    27 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 109

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

    Saint Anthony of Padua with the Christ Child

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino (Cento 1591-1666 Bologna)
    Saint Anthony of Padua with the Christ Child
    inscribed 'S. ANT.O LIBERò UNA DON- NA DALLE INSIDIE DEL DE- MONIO PONENDOLI IN SENO (ESSENDO ADDOR- MENTATA) LE SUE DETTE PAROLE'
    pen and brown ink
    4¾ x 5 in. (11.1 x 12.6 cm.)


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    A preliminary design for Guercino's print, Saint Anthony of Padua (Turner, op. cit., fig. 79). The present drawing reflects an earlier stage of composition than another preparatory drawing now in a private collection in the United States (Turner, op. cit., fig. 81). It differs from both the later drawing and the etching in showing Saint Anthony accompanied by the Christ Child, and in its inclusion of the short text on the pedestal, recording Saint Anthony's miraculous cure of a woman possessed by a demon. This pedestal, without the text, is retained in the drawing in America, but removed in the etching. Turner suggests that, in considering a very different compositional arrangement alongside the simpler format which he eventually chose for the print, Guercino was undertaking the same kind of preparatory work for his etching as he did for his paintings. The print is datable to the mid-1630s, and the present drawing can be dated to approximately the same period.

    Literature

    N. Turner, 'Guercino's First Idea for his Etching of St Anthony of Padua', Print Quarterly, June 2007, pp. 146-148, fig. 83.