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    Sale 2134

    Old Master and 19th Century Drawings

    29 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 87

    Johann-Konrad Fasi-Gessner (Zurich 1796-1870)

    A bound sketchbook of 67 studies of flowers, with thirteen unbound sheets of studies of flowers and a lithograph of a view of Heidelberg Castle

    Price Realised  

    Johann-Konrad Fasi-Gessner (Zurich 1796-1870)
    A bound sketchbook of 67 studies of flowers, with thirteen unbound sheets of studies of flowers and a lithograph of a view of Heidelberg Castle
    Each bound sheet numbered 1-48 (some with the same number on facing pages; pages 39 and 44 appear to have been cut out of the allbum), sheets numbered 20, 21 and 25 are inscribed with the names of the flowers that are illustrated, and sheet 25 is dated twice '1856'
    pencil, watercolor
    8¼ x 11½ in. (209 x 290 mm.)


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    Fasi-Gessner was from a Swiss family of artists and was best known for his compositions of flowers and portraits. His talent must have been evident quite early in his career as he is recorded as participating in exhibitions in Zurich from 1811 when he would have been only fifteen. He is mentioned in an April 1864 issue of the American publication Harper's Weekly as having donated some of his watercolors of flower to the Metropolitan Sanitary Fair of Philadelphia. It seems there was a community descendant of Swiss forebears in the region and this is perhaps how he achieved recognition across the Atlantic.
    Many of Fasi-Gessner's portraits were turned into lithographs by the Swiss printmaker Karl-Joseph Brodtmann (1787-1862).
    The flowers drawn in this sketchbook are rendered with a naturalist's attention to accuracy and precision and their placement on the page and use of intense color demonstrates the artist's aesthetic sensitivity.