GIOVANNI BATTISTA TIEPOLO (VENISE 1696-1770 MADRID)
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GIOVANNI BATTISTA TIEPOLO (VENISE 1696-1770 MADRID)

Sainte Famille

Details
GIOVANNI BATTISTA TIEPOLO (VENISE 1696-1770 MADRID)
Sainte Famille
plume et encre brune, lavis gris
28,4 x 20,5 cm. (11 1/8 x 8 1/8 in.)
Provenance
De l'atelier de l'artiste au Couvent Somasso, Venise, Santa Maria della Salute.
Comte Leopold Cicognara (1767-1834), Venise.
Antonio Canova (1757-1822), Italie.
Francesco Pesaro.
Edward Cheney, par descendance à son neveu
Alfred Capel-Cure ; Sotheby's, Londres, 29 avril 1885, partie du lot 1024.
Vente anonyme ; Artcurial, Paris, 30 mars 2011, lot 50.
Exhibited
New York, Michael Altman Fine Art Gallery, In Pursuit of Timeless Quality, 2016 (sans numéro).
Special notice

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Post lot text
GIOVANNI BATTISTA TIEPOLO, THE HOLY FAMILY
PEN AND BROWN INK, BROWN WASH
With playfully applied brown ink combined with delicate wash over a swift sketch in black chalk, Tiepolo creates an image of the Holy Family which is equally striking and spontaneous. The sheet is part of a group of some 75 drawings showing the subject, demonstrating the artist’s inexhaustible creativity (J. Byam Shaw and G. Knox, The Robert Lehman Collection, Italian Eighteenth-Century Drawings, New York, 1987, VI, under no. 93). While these drawings are executed in the same spirit and technique, Tiepolo seems to have delighted in adjusting the compositions and re-arranging and changing the staffage in each sheet, resulting in a series of drawings that is ‘a marvellous monument to Giambattista’s talent and virtuosity as a draughtsman’ (G. Knox, Tiepolo. A Bicentenary Exhibition, exhib. cat., Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum, 1970, under no. 89). The artist seems to have made these drawings as an artistic exploration and for his own enjoyment, rather than as studies for other works of art as they do not correspond directly with any of his pictures or etchings.
George Knox has suggested that the drawings were executed between 1754 and 1762, the year Tiepolo left Venice for Spain (Knox, ibid., under no. 89). According to Knox, they may well have been executed in, or close to 1760, when the artist was suffering from gout and was unable to execute large commissions. The drawings from the series were laid down in an album which the artist gave for safekeeping to the Library of the Somasco Convent at Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, shortly before he left for Spain. In the 19th Century they came into the possession of Edward Cheney, the great collector of Tiepolo drawings, and they were sold by Cheney’s brother-in-law, Col. Alfred Capel-Cure at Sotheby’s, London, 29 April 1886, part of lot 1024 (consisting of 9 albums of Tiepolo drawings; see G. Knox, Catalogue of Tiepolo Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1960, pp. 4-6). The drawings were first exhibited in 1928 at the Savile Gallery in London and were dispersed subsequently. Sheets from the series can now be found in numerous institutions, for examples see; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (inv. 1350; B. Aikema and M. Tuijn, Tiepolo in Holland. Works by Giambattista Tiepolo and His Circle in Dutch Museums, exhib. cat., Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 1996, no. 34, ill.) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. 1975.1.441 and 1975.1.442; J. Byam Shaw and G. Knox, ibid., New York, 1987, VI, nos. 93-4, ill., pl. 10).

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Hélène Rihal
Hélène Rihal

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Lot Essay

Grâce à une utilisation libre de l’encre brune et de délicats lavis gris, Tiepolo réussit à créer une image de la Sainte Famille à la fois saisissante et spontanée. Cette feuille est extraite d’un groupe de soixante-dix dessins sur le sujet, démontrant la créativité inépuisable de l’artiste. Bien que ces dessins soient exécutés dans le même esprit et la même technique, Tiepolo semble s’être amusé à ajuster, réarranger les compositions et changer la posture des personnages sur chaque feuille. L’artiste semble avoir conçu ces dessins comme un exercice artistique pour son plaisir personnel plutôt que comme des modèles pour des œuvres futures dans la mesure où elles ne font écho à aucun tableau connu ni aucune estampe.

George Knox a proposé de dater ces dessins entre 1754 et 1762, l’année où Tiepolo quitta Venise pour l’Espagne (Knox, ibid., no. 89).
Les dessins de cette série ont été rassemblés dans un album dont l’artiste donna la garde à la bibliothèque du couvent Somasco de Santa Maria della Salute à Venise, peu avant son départ pour l’Espagne. Au cours du XIXe siècle, ils entrèrent en la possession d’Edward Cheney, grand collectionneur des dessins de Tiepolo. Les feuilles de cette série sont désormais conservées dans diverses institutions, telles que le Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen de Rotterdam (inv. 1350 ; voir B. Aikema et M. Tuijn, Tiepolo in Holland. Works by Giambattista Tiepolo and His Circle in Dutch Museums, cat. exp., Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 1996, no. 34, ill.) ou le Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York (inv. 1975.1.441 et 1975.1.442 ; voir J. Byam Shaw et G. Knox, The Robert Lehman Collection, Italian Eighteenth-Century Drawings, New York, 1987, VI, no. 93-4, ill., pl. 10).

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