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Gaetano Gandolfi (San Matteo della Decima 1734-1802 Bologna)
ITALIAN DRAWINGS FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
Gaetano Gandolfi (San Matteo della Decima 1734-1802 Bologna)

Joshua and Aaron

Details
Gaetano Gandolfi (San Matteo della Decima 1734-1802 Bologna)
Joshua and Aaron
black and white chalk, stumping, watermark Pontecchio in a banderole
16 3/8 x 12 1/8 in. (41.7 x 30.7 cm.)
Provenance
Part of an album acquired in Bologna in 1873 (according to a note in the album);
Anonymous sale; Dowell's, Edinburgh, 22 January 1957, part of lot 121.
with Colnaghi, London, 1957.
E. Maurice Bloch, Los Angeles; Christie's, New York, 9 January 1991, lot 7.
with Jean-Luc Baroni, London, 1991, no. 42.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 11 July 2001, lot 168, where acquired by the present owner.
Literature
J. Bean and W. Griswold, 18th Century Italian drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1990, p. 70, under no. 52.
F. den Broeder, Old Master Drawings from the collection of Joseph McCrindle, exh. cat., Princeton, Princeton University Art Museum, 1992, p. 153, under no. 68, nt. 3.
P. Bagni, I Gandolfi: Affreschi, dipinti, bozzetti, disegni, Bologna, 1992, p. 695, no. 671.
D. Biagi Maino, 'Disegni di Gaetano Gandolfi per i dipinti delle Marche', Disegni Marchigiani: Atti del covegno 'Il Disegno antico nelle Marche e dalle Marche', Florence, 1995, p. 166, nt. 28.
D. Biagi Maino, Gaetano Gandolfi, Turin, 1995, pp. 87, 92-93, nt. 98, and p. 62, fig. xxix.
E.W. Rowland, The collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Italian paintings 1300-1800, Kansas City, 1996, p. 470, under no. 57.
Exhibited
Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, and Little Rock, The Arkansas Art Centre, Bella Pittura: The art of the Gandolfi, 1993, no. 85.

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Lot Essay

A study for figures in the artist's fresco of The Virgin in Glory for the church of Santa Maria della Vita, Bologna. Gaetano worked on decorating the cupola between 1776 and 1779, and it was among the most important commissions of his career. The fresco was surrounded by an elaborate decorative scheme by the quadraturist Serafino Barozzi, with the altar of marble and gilt bronze designed by Pietro Fancelli and Carlo Bianconi. While the fresco has suffered there is a modello for it in the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (Biagi Maino, op. cit., no. 126, fig. 144). Joshua and Aaron are in the lower left foreground. This sheet was part of an album, dismembered after the 1957 sale which included other chalk studies of similar dimensions by Gaetano for the same church. Of the twelve drawings, eight are known today, and all but the present lot are in museum collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library in New York, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. There are also two preparatory drawings in pen and wash.

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