Immediately following the sale of the splendid collection of Giancarlo Baroni, this wide-ranging auction of drawings from the 16th to the early 19th centuries is no less rich and varied.
The two undisputed stars are the drawings by Rubens and Blake - each as powerful and passionate as the other, but in every other respect utterly different. The young Rubens seems to have made his strikingly modern sheet of anatomical studies in connection with an ultimately unrealised project for an anatomy book. He was very likely inspired by seeing a group of anatomical drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, yet how very different is his dramatic approach, when compared with Leonardo’s meticulous, scientific studies. The superb watercolour by Blake is one of a series of magnificently imaginative works made to illustrate a once celebrated epic poem, The Grave, by Robert Blair, drawings that were famously rediscovered in a small Scottish bookshop in 2001.
Other highlights include a fine, and extremely rare, large, finished watercolour by Jan van Huysum and Luti's great design for his elaborate ceiling painting of 1700 in Rome’s Palazzo Colonna.