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Carlo Cignani (1628-1719)
Carlo Cignani (1628-1719)

Self-portrait, bust-length, wearing the cross of Malta

Details
Carlo Cignani (1628-1719)
Self-portrait, bust-length, wearing the cross of Malta
signed, inscribed and dated 'CAROLVS CIGNANVS NOBILIS BONONIENSIS, PICTOR EQVES, ET COMES. ANNORV[M]XXXXXXXVIIII. [1678]'
black chalk, stumped, in an inscribed oval
7 3/8 x 5¼ in. (188 x 135 mm.)
Provenance
Charles Lucy, according to Richardson.
J. Richardson Sen. (L. 2183), his mount with attribution 'Carlo Cignani' and inscription '22. Given me by Mr. Lucy Said to have been Touch on by Carlo Himself t.'

Lot Essay

A simplified version of this drawing, without the cross of Malta but also formerly owned by Charles Lucy (born 1692) is in the British Museum, London (inv. 1921-3-24-2, B. Buscaroli Fabbri, Carlo Cignani, Padova, 1991, p. 186, illustrated). That drawing was subsequently owned by Jonathan Richardson Junior (N. Turner, 'The Gabburri Rogers Series of drawn Self-Portraits and Portraits of Artists', Journal of the History of Collections, 1993, 2, pp. 185 and 189, note 32).
Richardson wrote on the mount of the British Museum drawing that it was drawn by Cignani in front of Lucy. Richardson added that Lucy 'would never part with [it] while He liv'd, for the extream Love he bore to this Dearest Master'. Nonetheless Richardson got hold of the drawing, probably at the death of Lucy, and later passed it to Rogers. That drawing was probably executed in the last years of Cignani's life, when Charles Lucy studied portraiture with him in Bologna.
Four other painted self-portraits are in the Paltrinieri Collection in Bologna, in the Uffizi, at the Academia Clementina, Bologna and at Chatsworth (B. Buscaroli Fabbri, op. cit., nos. 22, 53, 70 and p. 186, illustrated). A copy after the British Museum drawing is in Rio de Janeiro (R. Morselli, Disegni Italiani della Biblioteca Nazionale di Rio di Janeiro, la collezione Costa da Silva, Pesaro, 1995, no. 118).
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