In what is one of the richest and most varied Old Master Drawings sales for years, perhaps the most remarkable single sheet is the exceptional, large-scale portrait head of a young man, executed in the late 1460s or early 1470s, and attributed to Piero del Pollaiolo. An exceptionally well preserved masterpiece of Florentine Early Renaissance draughtsmanship, nothing like this drawing has appeared on the market in recent years.
Representing a totally different artistic world are the 38 lots from a Distinguished European collection, a wonderful group of drawings, most but not all of them 18th-century French, which encapsulate both the milieu in which they were created and the very personal and refined taste of the collector. The leading lights of this great moment in French art – Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher, Robert, Natoire – are all represented by very appealing works of the highest quality, but there are also extremely good drawings by less familiar artists, as well as three fine Tiepolos to add an international flavour.
Drawings from another very personal collection, that of the celebrated San Francisco patron and collector, the late Dodie Rosekrans, form another significant section of the sale, with particularly notable sheets by Parmigianino, Boucher and Gainsborough.
Another series of drawings in the sale came together at a rather earlier date: an album discovered by Sotheby’s in the library of a British country house has yielded a series of previously unknown drawings, including two important studies after the antique by Nicolas Poussin, as well as substantial sheets by Lelio Orsi and Perino del Vaga.
From other sources come a wide range of outstanding drawings dating from around 1480 to 1880, from all the main European Schools; a real feast for collectors, whatever their taste or budget.
Please note that the attribution and estimate for this drawing are now different from those in the printed catalogue.
We are grateful to Monsieur Louis-Antoine Prat for pointing out that the design for the frieze in this drawing is directly related to the motif on the cornice of the Temple of Antonius and Faustina in the Forum in Rome. This design was also copied by Charles Errard and it is listed as number F 1774 in the first volume of Pierre Rosenberg's Les dessins de la collection Mariette.
This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.
We are grateful to Nicolas Schwed for pointing out that the inscription with the attribution to Cantagallina is that of the Marquis de Calvière. The drawing was included in the Christie's sale in Paris, 17th December 2003.
Please note that these is another version of this composition, vertical in format and also including the figure's legs, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (accession no: 2010.17)
This drawing was first published by Mario Di Giampaolo in the catalogue of the Katalan collection, at the time of the Vassar College exhibition in 1995, no. 13. Mario Di Giampaolo wrote that the present sheet might be associated with a decoration in the church of San Pietro, Bologna. The sheet has been subsequently published by Florian Härb as Fontana in the Actes di Colloque: Francesco Salviati e la bella maniera, p. 583, note 24.
Exhibited: Cambridge, MA, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University, and The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Landscape in Perspective, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Contemporaries, 1988 (catalogue by Frederik J. Duparc), no 36c
Additional Literature: P. Schatborn, 'The Importance of Drawing from Life - Some Preliminary Notes', in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Drawings, A Selection from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exhib. cat., Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, Vienna, Albertina, New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, and Cambridge, MA, Fogg Art Museum, 1991-92, p. 10, fig. 5
Additional provenance: Oosten de Bruÿn, sale, Haarlem, Van der Vinne, 8 April 1800, p. 70, no. 21 ("Dirk Langendyk. 21. Een tent van binnen, in dezelve hebben eege Soldaaten rusie, waar door de Tafel, Flessen enz. om verre raaken, NB. met een Gordyntje, alles zeer natuurlijk.");
This Lot has been withdrawn from the sale.
Please note that this drawing is by Luigi Valadier (Rome 1726-1785) and not by Giuseppe Valadier as printed in the catalogue.