Lot 16
  • 16

Attributed to Giambologna

10,000 - 20,000 USD
7,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Giambologna
  • study for a sculpture of neptune
  • Black chalk, a fragment of a design in black chalk, verso;
    numbered in black chalk, verso: 16 / 15
    bears old attribution in brown ink, lower right: Juianno da Boulogne / a Bologne - and numbering in brown ink at upper left of old backing sheet: N. 40=

  • 16 1/4 by 7 3/4 in, 415 by 195 mm


Milan, Dubini Collection, pencil numbering to the right margin of the backing paper;
Sale, London, Sotheby's, 7 December 1976, lot 22 (as Attributed to Giovanni da Bologna), sold to A. Ciechanowiecki;
London, Heim Gallery, from whom purchased by the present owner



C. Avery and A. Radcliffe, Giambologna 1529-1608, Sculptor to the Medici, exhib. cat., Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Museum, et. al., 1978-79, p. 203,  no. 202, reproduced p. 204


F. Malaguzzi Valeri, 'Le collezioni private Lombarde: La collezione Dubini di Disegni antichi', Rassegna d'Arte, VIII, 1908, pp. 3 -9;
E. Dhanens, Jean Boulogne, Brussels 1956, p. 111, reproduced fig. 25;
C. Monbeig-Goguel, Dessins Italiens du Musée du Louvre, Vasari et son temps, I, Paris 1972, p. 32, under catalogue no.1, verso

Catalogue Note

Drawings related to sculpture are extremely rare.  The present study, which bears an old attribution to Giambologna, was regarded and published by Dhanens as a possible sketch for the fountain of Neptune, in Bologna, of circa 1563.  The old inscription, a Bologne, may refer to the same sculpture, despite the present sheet's differences with the finished design of the fountain.  The lack of drawings by Giambologna has led scholars to think that he seldom drew and that he preferred to use bozzetti in wax or terracotta in preparation for his works.1  This was not at all unusual as Vasari writes: 'molti scultori che lavoravano benissimo non disegnano in carta niente'.  Charles Avery, in his catalogue entry on the drawing for the 1978-79 exhibition, writes that neither the graphic style nor the composition of the principal figure seems consistent with Giambologna, and he adds that many fountains with Neptune as a centrepiece were commissioned in the16th century.

1. For information on the drawings, see Volker Krahn, 'Disegni preliminari', in Giambologna, gli dei, gli eroi, exhib. cat., Florence, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, 2006, pp. 48-9, figs. 4-5