Lot 11
  • 11

Jacopo da Ponte, called Jacopo Bassano Bassano del Grappa circa 1510 - 1592

40,000 - 60,000 USD
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  • Jacopo da Ponte, called Jacopo Bassano
  • a seated bishop reading from a book on his lap, and a small study of the same figure, wearing a cap
  • charcoal heightened with red and white chalk on buff paper;
    a section to the right of the mantle appears to be cut out and made up by the artist


Alfred Scharf, London;
Perman Collection, Stockholm


Hans Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat, The Drawings of the Venetian Painters, New York 1944, p. 52, no.167;
Alessandro Ballarin, Jacopo Bassano Scritti 1964-1995, vol. 1, tomo II, Padua 1995, p. 502, no. 282, reproduced in color

Catalogue Note

This drawing, so typical of Jacopo Bassano's style in the broad use of colored chalks, is a preparatory study for the figure of St. Nicholas in The Madonna and Child appearing to St. John the Baptist and St. Nicholas (fig. 1), executed by Bassano, in collaboration with his son Francesco, for S. Giacomo dell'Orio, Venice and dated by Ballarin circa 1578 (now in the Sacrestia nuova, see Ballarin, op. cit., vol. 1,  tomo I,  fig. 111).  The altarpiece, together with The Preaching of the Baptist, was commissioned from Bassano by Gaspare Dolzoni for his chapel, which was built in 1568 and dedicated to the Madonna and St. Nicholas.  Dolzoni was buried there in 1584, providing a terminus ante quem for both paintings.  The present drawing was incorrectly associated by Tietze with the figure of the monk in the right corner of Bassano's Paradise, now in the Museo Civico, Bassano (see Tietze, loc. cit.). 

Jacopo Bassano's masterly use of colored chalks, which creates strong effects economically and quickly, makes his drawings quite unique and easy to recognize.  Another very similar study of a bishop holding a book on his lap is in the Louvre (inv. no. RF38 936).  It also can be dated around 1575 and is preparatory for the figure of St. Gregory the Great on the vault of the Cappella del Rosario in the parish church of Cartigliano (see Ballarin, op. cit., vol.1, tomo II, p. 501, cat. no. 277, reproduced in color).