L12040

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Lot 8
  • 8

Giuseppe Cesari, called Il Cavalier d'Arpino

Estimate
18,000 - 22,000 GBP
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Description

  • Giuseppe Cesari, called Il Cavalier d'Arpino
  • a seated prophet, holding a book
  • Red and black chalk heightened with white chalk

Provenance

Padre Sebastiano Resta;
John, Lord Somers (L.2981, his number in pen and brown ink: h 31.);
possibly Jonathan Richardson Sr., his mount with the attribution in pen and brown ink: C: Guiseppino. and on the verso shelf numbers: GG.31. (crossed out) / G; / So.20. No.17;
Benjamin  West (L.419);
sale, London, Christie's, 16 April 1926, lot 54;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 7 December 1976, lot 23

Exhibited

Newcastle upon Tyne, Hatton Gallery, Italian Drawings 1525-1570..., 1982, p. 11, no. 39, reproduced pl. VIII b

Literature

J. Byam Shaw, The Italian Drawings of the Frits Lugt Collection, vol. I,  Paris 1983, p. 155, under no. 149, and note 6
H. Röttgen, Il Cavalier Giuseppe Cesari D'Arpino, Un grande pittore nello splendore della fama e nell'incostanza della fortuna, Rome 2002, p. 268, under no. 49 (49i), reproduced p. 274, no. 49i

Condition

Laid down on the old Richardson mount. Slight yellow foxing around the margins and a tiny hole in the lower margin, in the middle. The chalk is fresh and the sheet is in good condition
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

In his monograph on Cavalier D'Arpino, Röttgen dates this handsome drawing circa 1594.  He suggests that it may be preparatory for the figure of Moses in the elaborate fresco of the Ascension of Christ, commissioned by Bernardo Olgiati for the ceiling of the Olgiati Chapel in Santa Prassede, Rome, finished by Arpino in 1595 (fig. 1).  Moses is on the left side of the vaulted ceiling.  Röttgen has published another study related to the same figure and presumably for the same project. It is closer to the figure in the final fresco and shows Moses holding the Tablets of the Law in his left hand whereas here the book is under his right arm.  Therefore although the present drawing is very finished, it was probably drawn at an early stage of Arpino's planning for the project. 

Marco Simone Bolzoni has kindly informed us of the existence of a further study for the same figure which appears to be a more finished version of the Grenoble drawing.2  It is executed in red and black chalk, like the present example, but not heightened with white chalk.  Here the combination of the three coloured chalks and the degree of finish, together with skilful execution, are a good example of the high level of draughtsmanship that Arpino achieved at the peak of his career.

1. Grenoble, Musée, inv. no. MG D 1000; H. Röttgen, op. cit., p. 268, under no. 49 (49k), reproduced p. 274, no. 49k

2. Lille, Palais des Beaux Arts, inv. no., 2967; to be published in his forthcoming book: Il Cavalier Giuseppe Cesari d'Arpino. Maestro del disegno