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Davide Antonio Fossati (Morcote 1708-1795 Venice)
Davide Antonio Fossati (Morcote 1708-1795 Venice)

The Rape of Proserpine

Details
Davide Antonio Fossati (Morcote 1708-1795 Venice)
The Rape of Proserpine
signed with monogram 'DAF' and with inscription 'D.A. Fossati' (on the mount)
black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white (partially oxidized)
5 x 7 in. (12.5 x 17.8 cm.)
Provenance
Theophil Friedrich Jakob Künhans, Venice.

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Lot Essay

The son of a military engineer, Davide Antonio Fossati left his native Canton of Ticino in 1720 and travelled to Venice to live with his wealthy merchant uncle, also called Davide. The intention was that Davide Antonio should become his uncle's assistant, but when the boy showed more inclination for painting, he was apprenticed to the priest Vincenzo Maria Mariotti (d. 1738) and later studied with Daniel Gran (1694-1757). He came to specialise in fresco and perspective painting and became a member of the Venetian Accademia di Belle Arti in 1775 and of the Collegio dei Pittori di Venezia in 1778. He also acted as a picture dealer, which may be how he came into contact with John Strange and Künhans.

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