Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804)
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Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804)

A peasant family on their way to church

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804)
A peasant family on their way to church
signed 'Dom.o Tiepolo f' and numbered '87'
black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, watermark three stars in a crowned cartouche
14 7/8 x 20 in. (379 x 507 mm.)
Possibly A. Beurdeley, Paris.
T.L. de Gara; Sotheby's, London, 11 November 1965, lot 24.
with Agnew's, London.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 8 December 1987, lot 136.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 10 January 1990, lot 88.
Peter Jay Sharp (1930-1992).
G. Knox, Un Quaderno di Vedute di Giambattista e Domenico Tiepolo, Venice, 1974, p. 82, no. 69.
J.C. Steward, ed., The mask of Venice, Berkeley, 1996, p. 40, fig. 13.
A.M. Gealt, Giandomenico Tiepolo: scena di vita quotidiana Venezia e nella terraferma, Venice, 2005, p. 29 and pp. 89-90, no. 6.
New York, National Academy of Design, European Master Drawings from the Collection of Peter Jay Sharp, 1994, no. 29 (entry by G. Knox).
Udine, Castello di Udine and Bloomington, Indiana University Art Museum, Giandomenico Tiepolo, maestria e gioco: disegni dal mondo, catalogue by A.M. Gealt and G. Knox, 1996-7, no. 37.
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Lot Essay

From a group of approximately eighty drawings of scenes of everyday Venetian life executed by Domenico around 1790-1. The series is divided thematically into scenes of peasant life (such as this composition); exotic animals and wild beasts; horses and riders; popular entertainment; la villeggiatura or holidays; trades and professions in Venice; and diversions in Venice (A. Gealt and G. Knox, op. cit., cat. nos. 1-11; 12-19; 20-27; 28-35; 36-50; 51-60; 61-80). Many of the drawings are dated and have framing lines, indicating that they were made as independent works of art and not in preparation for a picture or fresco.
As was his frequent practice, Domenico derived some of the motifs in the drawings from his father's works. The buildings in the background are most likely the Church and Convent of the Madonna delle Grazie at Udine which Domenico and his father visited in the summer of 1759. Domenico probably based the background of this drawing on a now lost composition by his father as there are three other views of this group of buildings by Giovanni Battista (Knox, 1974, op. cit., nos. 33, 52-3). The buildings appear again in the background of another drawing by Domenico, A centaur arrested in flight, a female faun on his back at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (A decade of collecting, 1965-1975, exhib. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1975, no. 81).
The early provenance of the Contemporary Life drawings is not known, and their earliest documented appearance is in the Alfred Beurdeley (1847-1919) sale, Paris, 21 May 1920. 22 drawings were in the sale, and the present drawing may have been one of these.

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