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

Punchinello carried off by an eagle

Details
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804)
Punchinello carried off by an eagle
signed ‘Dom.o Tiepolo f’ (lower right) and numbered, probably by the artist, ‘47’ (in the border, upper left)
black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, watermark three crescents (cf. Heawood 867)
13 5/8 x 18 3/8 in. (34.8 x 46.6 cm)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; London, Sotheby’s, 6 July 1920, part of lot 41 (where bought by Colnaghi for £610).
with Colnaghi, London, by whom sold, January 1921, to the following
with Richard Owen, Paris, by whom broken up and sold individually through Matthiesen, 24 March 1937, for £70 to
Brinsley, later Sir Brinsley, Ford (1908-1999).
Literature
P.P. Fehl, ‘Farewell to Jokes: The Last Capricci of Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo and the Tradition of Irony in Venetian Painting’, Critical Inquiry, V, no. 4, Summer 1978-1979, p. 787.
M.E. Vetrocq, Domenico Tiepolo’s Punchinello Drawings, exhib. cat., Bloomington, Indiana University Art Museum and Stanford University Art Museum, 1979-1980, no. S65, ill.
A.M. Gealt, Domenico Tiepolo. The Punchinello Drawings, New York 1986, no. 58, ill. [French edition: Gian Domenico Tieopolo. Dessins de Polichinelle, Arcueil, 1986].
A.M. Gealt and G. Knox, Domenico Tiepolo, Master Draftsman, exhib. cat., Udine, Castello di Udine, and Bloomington, Indiana University Art Museum, 1996-1997, p. 99, ill., p. 245, no. 47 [Italian edition titled Giandomenico Tiepolo. Maestria e gioco. Disegni dal mondo].
B. Ford, ‘The Ford Collection’, Walpole Society, LX, II, 1998, pp. 99-101, no. RBF127 (catalogued by F. Russell).
Exhibited
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Dessins de G.D. Tiepolo, 1921 (without catalogue).
London, Matthiesen Gallery, Venetian Paintings and Drawings Held in Aid of Lord Baldwin’s Fund for Refugees, 1939, no. 138.
Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exhibition of Works of Art from the Ford Collection, 1946, no. 129 (catalogue by B. Ford).
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, and Birmingham, Museum and Art Gallery, Eighteenth Century Venice, 1951, no. 138i (note by F.J.B. Watson).
Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Tiepolo. Ironia e comico, 2004, no. 138, ill. (note by A. M. Gealt).
Venice, Palazzo Ducale, and Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Canaletto & Venezia, 2018-2019, no. VII.11, ill. [French edition titled Éblouissante Venise. Venise, les arts et l’Europe au XVIIIe siècle].
Sale room notice
Please note that there is additional literature for this lot which has not been printed in the catalogue:
K. McHale, ‘Child’s Play? Giandomenico Tiepolo’s Punchinello Drawings and the Fall of Venice’, Master Drawings, L, 2012, no. 1, p. 107-108, fig. 10.

Brought to you by

Henry Pettifer
Henry Pettifer

Lot Essay

Adelheid Gealt wondered whether Punchinello is here abducted or delivered (op. cit., p. 140), but the panicked reaction of the crowd at left seems to leave little doubt. Like a burlesque Ganymede, Punchinello is carried off to the heavens, but the storyline still needs further clarification at this point. Similar scenes of abduction, but involving a centaur rather than an eagle, are at the Louvre and the British Museum (inv. R.F. 36506 and 1925,0406.1 respectively; see ibid., nos. 60, 61).

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