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

Punchinellos in a barber's shop

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804)
Punchinellos in a barber's shop
signed ‘Domo. Tiepolo f’ (lower right) and numbered, probably by the artist, ‘53’ (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. (34.5 x 46.6 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 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.
Anonymous sale; Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 23 December 1931, lot 30.
with Matthiesen, 24 March 1937, and sold for £70 to
Brinsley, later Sir Brinsley, Ford (1908-1999).
M.E. Vetrocq, Domenico Tiepolo’s Punchinello Drawings, exhib. cat., Bloomington, Indiana University Art Museum and Stanford University Art Museum, 1979-1980, no. S49, ill., p. 157.
A.M. Gealt, Domenico Tiepolo. The Punchinello Drawings, New York 1986, no. 49, ill. [French edition: Gian Domenico Tiepolo. Dessins de Polichinelle, Arcueil, 1986].
A.M. Gealt and G. Knox, Giandomenico Tiepolo. Maestria e gioco. Disegni dal mondo, exhib. cat., Udine, Castello di Udine, and Bloomington, Indiana University Art Museum, 1996-1997, p. 245, no. 53 [English edition titled Domenico Tiepolo, Master Draftsman].
B. Ford, ‘The Ford Collection’, Walpole Society, LX, II, 1998, pp. 99-101, no. RBF129 (catalogued by F. Russell).
S. Bostock, The Pictorial Wit of Domenico Tiepolo, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Warwick, 2009, I, no. 53, ill.
Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Dessins de G.D. Tiepolo, 1921 (without catalogue).
Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exhibition of Works of Art from the Ford Collection, 1946, no. 147 (catalogue by B. Ford).
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, and Birmingham, Museum and Art Gallery, Eighteenth Century Venice, 1951, no. 138l (note by F.J.B. Watson).
Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Tiepolo. Ironia e comico, 2004, no. 140, ill. (note by A. M. Gealt).
Venice, Palazzo Ducale, and Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Canaletto & Venezia, 2018-2019, no. VII.15, ill. [French edition titled Éblouissante Venise. Venise, les arts et l’Europe au XVIIIe siècle].

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Clementine Sinclair
Clementine Sinclair

Lot Essay

This drawing provides a vivid illustration of Domenico Tiepolo’s sense for the theatrical. While a Punchinello is about to prove his skills as a barber on the customer seated at the centre of this scene, helped by two elegant assistants and examined by another Punchinello, a man sporting an impressive wig enters from the right. (A similar man, inspired by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s caricatures, can be seen in one of Domenico’s ‘Scenes of Contemporary Life’, depicting a quack dentist at work, at The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, inv. 2017.256.) At left, a young dandy seems amused by the scene – or is he slightly worried because he is next? Overlooking it all are the Virgin and Child in the painting high on the wall, reminiscent of the type painting of which the artist’s father produced so many.

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