Italian School, 18th Century
Italian School, 18th Century

Portrait of Titian in an elaborate, early 18th Century Cartouche

Details
Italian School, 18th Century
Portrait of Titian in an elaborate, early 18th Century Cartouche
black chalk, pen and grey ink, grey wash
13 x 8 in. (330 x 216 mm.)
Provenance
Cavaliere Gabburri, his mount and inscription 'Ritratto di Tiziano Originale di sua Mano'.
C. Rogers (L. 625).
Literature
N.Turner, The Gabburri/Rogers Series of Drawn Self-Portraits and Portraits of Artists, Journal of the History of Collections, 5, no. 2, 1993, p. 210, no. 59.

Lot Essay

The drawing is of particular interest in respect of its provenance, which can be traced back to the Florentine nobleman, painter, diplomat, and collector Francesco Maria Niccol Gabburri, a pupil of the painter Onorio Marinari.
Gabburri collected paintings, sculpture and prints, but he was particularly interested in self-portraits of artists, presumably intended to illustrate his most important enterprise, the unpublished book on the Vite dei Pittori. As Nicholas Turner points out in his article on Gabburri (op. cit., p. 181), the project of a 'comprehensive history of art' was probably inspired by P.-J. Mariette who visited the Florentine around 1719, after having heard Crozat's enthusiastic description of the collection. In 1729 and 1737 drawings from Gabburri's collection were shown at exhibitions organized by the Accademia del Disegno.
Gabburri, who probably reserved a room in his palace especially for his group of artist's self-portraits, classified his collection by several categories. The category, to which the present sheet belongs, is the best known: it is dedicated to self-portraits of already deceased artists, which were usually laid down on an upright backing paper decorated with an elaborately drawn architectural frame. The collector seems to have commissioned these frames from younger artists, such as Gaspare Redi and Giuseppe Menabuoi. A large group of these portraits is preserved at Saint Michael's Mount, Cornwall (Turner, op.cit., pp. 190-202).
After Gabburri's death his collection, which also included three volumes of drawings by Fra Bartolommeo and one attributed to Sarto, was acquired by the dealer William Kent in 1758 who brought it to England. The collection was sold in December 1762, with possible further sales in 1766 or 1767, and it is likely that Charles Rogers acquired the whole collection. When Rogers' collection was sold by his heirs in 1799, the present drawing, which was offered on the seventh day of the sale, on 22 April, as part of lot 651 [Titian], was described as follows: 'Two - his portrait, by himself, - one in black chalk, the other a profile, in red chalk'.
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