Results: Master Drawings,the only sale dedicated to drawings at Sotheby's Masters Week, fetched a total of $4.9 million. From Giandomenico Tiepolo's series of scenes from 'Punchinello,' The Country School led the auction at $970,000 (estimate: $600,000 - $800,000) and setting a new record for any work by the artist on paper. The sale's top lots provoked intense bidding between private collectors from the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Details: Sotheby's 28 January sale of Master Drawings is particularly strong in Italian drawings, led by Giandomenico Tiepolo’s superbly witty and beautifully drawn image of The Country School, from his famous series of scenes from the life of ‘Punchinello.’ Guercino’s masterly red chalk Study of a Baby in a Basket, for the figure of the Christ Child in his important frescoes in the Cathedral at Piacenza, is one of an outstanding group of four drawings by the artist. In other schools, there are rare, newly discovered drawings by 17th-century Dutch masters Jacob van Ruisdael and Dirck Helmbreeker, major British works by William Blake and J.M.W. Turner and a fine series of studies by Ingres.
We are grateful to Professor Herwarth Roettgen who has suggested that the inscription on the present work is: Inventione d'mutio Cesari in Arpino 1666 and the drawing itself by Muzio Cesari, the first son of Giuseppe Cesari.
Please note that the related painting illustrated in the printed catalogue was only on loan to the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, in 1999, and in fact belongs to a European private collection.
Marc McDonald has kindly suggested that this is a North African view of Penon Velez de la Gomera.
Drs. Robert-Jan te Rijdt has kindly pointed out that the date on the verso should be read as "6 Maart 1795", and has informed us that in his opinion the drawing is by Jurriaen Andriessen (1742-1819), comparing it with a signed and dated drawing by the artist, in Bremen (inv. 59/303). Pascal Zuber and Etienne Breton have also kindly informed us that they accept this attribution, and no longer consider the drawing to be by Boilly.
Dr. Andrew Robison has kindly informed us that he believes these drawings are by Johann Esaias Nilson (1721-1788), and can be compared with a dated title-page drawing of 1747 in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (inv. 2004.157.1).