Lot 24
  • 24

Master of the Blue Wash

7,000 - 9,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Master of the Blue Wash
  • A fanciful vine decorated ewer, with a goat and bacchic revelers
  • Pen and brown ink and blue wash, over traces of black chalk


Thomas Tomkins,
his sale, London, Mr. Hickman's Gallery, 25-28 February 1818, part of lot 289 (as "The Works of Stefano della Bella), for £32.10/-, to Holroyd(?);
Robert Holford,
thence by descent to his son, Sir George Holford,
by whose Executors sold, London, Sotheby's, 22 May 1928, part of lot 29B (as Stefano della Bella), for £145, to Castaguari;
sale, London, Christie's "A Collection of Drawings by Stefano della Bella", 18 March 1975, lot 82 (as Stefano della Bella)

Catalogue Note

The artistic personality known as the Master of the Blue Wash was first identified in a 1986 article by Detlef Heikamp.1  His works are known from the album sold by Thomas Tomkins in 1818 (see provenance), which was originally attributed to Stefano Della Bella.  Heikamp pointed out that whilst the drawings paraphrase Della Bella's printed material, their technique is subtly different: eleven, for example, use a blue wash, a medium unknown in any authentic drawings by Della Bella.2 

1. D. Heikamp, 'Studien zur Mediceischen Glaskunst', in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, vol. XXX, 1/2, 1986, pp. 214-234

2. P.D. Massar, 'Drawings after Prints by Stefano della Bella', Print Quarterly, vol. XIV, no. 3, September 1997, pp. 283-288