This subject must have been very popular among Marco Ricci's capricci
, as he seems to have used it, with variations, in several works. It is closely related to two other known drawings by him, respectively in the British Museum and at Windsor Castle.1
The stylus indentation on the British Museum drawing suggests that it was used to trace a guideline for the version at Windsor Castle. The composition is also repeated, in reverse with some variations mostly relating to the figures, in Ricci's etching, Bartsch XXI, 2.2
These drawings must have been used as inspiration for the painted version at Windsor Castle3
and the present work. The main difference between the latter and the other known versions is the format, which in the present tempera
appears extended and characterized by a more rectangular shape, and the foreground appears closer to the viewer. The figure of a man climbing out of the water in the left foreground, also in Ricci's etching, occurs in the painting with another standing figure nearby.
The Windsor drawing was engraved by Bartolozzi when in the collection of Consul Smith.4
This and the following lot were part of a group of five tempere by Marco Ricci which came from the collection at Langley Park, Norfolk. Annalisa Scarpa Sonino has suggested a dating for them between the second and third decades of the 18th century.
See also the following lot.
1. Respectively inv. nos. 1857, 1114.29 and R.L. 01142; A. Blunt and E. Croft-Murray, Venetian Drawings of the XVII & XVIII Centuries...at Windsor Castle, London 1957, p. 35, no. 81, reproduced pl. 62
2. A. Scarpa Sonino, op. cit., reproduced p. 315, fig. 279
3. Ibid., reproduced p. 314, fig. 275
4. Ibid., reproduced p. 315, fig. 280