Alessandro Turchi, l'Orbetto (Verona 1578-1649 Rome)
Alessandro Turchi, l'Orbetto (Verona 1578-1649 Rome)

The Abduction of Helen

Alessandro Turchi, l'Orbetto (Verona 1578-1649 Rome)
The Abduction of Helen
with inscription ' Orb[etto ?] Veronese', the last two words written over with 'Roma Farnese'
black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash
10 1/8 x 15 3/8 in. (25.7 x 39 cm.)
An unidentified collector's mark (L. 2725a), verso.
Jacques Fryszman, Boulogne Billancourt.
with Colnaghi, London (cat. 1998, no. 20), where acquired by the present owner, 1998.
G. E. Schleier, 'Alessandro Turchi disegnatore', in Alessandro Turchi detto l'Orbetto (1578-1649), exhib. cat., Verona, Museo di Castelvecchio, 1999, p. 65.
Verona, Museo di Castelvecchio, Alessandro Turchi detto l'Orbetto (1578-1649), 1999, no. 61 (cat. entry by G. Marini).

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Lot Essay

Related to a painting on slate by Turchi, sold in these Rooms, 9 June 2009, lot 9. In Turchi's interpretation of this pivotal event of the Trojan War, Paris leads the abducted Helen to the sea, a coterie of soldiers marching with them.
This drawing demonstrates the full range of the artist's technique - from the scratchy and spontaneous underdrawing, to the confident pen outlines, and the masterful application of wash, which uses the reserve to create voluminous figures.
G. Marini (exhib. cat. Verona, op. cit.) dates the present work to the last years of the Veronese period of the artist, around 1610-1615, and describes it as 'one of the most fluid and inventive of all of Turchi's drawings'.

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