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Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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Marco Ricci
BELLUNO 1676 - 1730 VENICE
TWENTY FOUR LANDSCAPE VIEWS
Quantity: 24
The majority in pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk;
one sheet illegibly inscribed in brown ink, verso
All approximately: 195 by 270 mm
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Catalogue Note

Few of Marco Ricci’s drawings can be dated with any certainty, however the broad range of techniques employed by the artist in this delightful grouping of 24 sheets plainly illustrates the extraordinary variety of which he was capable as a draughtsman. From his relatively loose sketch, depicting Travellers in a landscape with a convent and a campanile, drawn predominantly in pen and brown ink with some light touches of grey wash, to his more elaborately worked up drawings, such as Fishermen walking in a landscape with a waterfall, where the use of brown wash is considerably more pronounced.

Interestingly, each drawing that makes up the present lot is still hinged to the partial remains of the original album page, helping to further illustrate how artists and collectors of the 18th Century would originally have stored such works and perhaps, in part, explaining the fine condition in which these drawings remain to this day. Indeed one of the richest holdings of drawings by Marco Ricci is to be found in the Royal Collection, some 146 drawings. 106 of these works were originally bound in two separate albums entitled Paesi (Landscapes) and Architettura (mainly theatrical scenery) and owned by the great 18th-Century collector, Joseph “Consul” Smith, whose collection of drawings was acquired by George III in 1762, forming the nucleus of the Royal Collection of drawings at Windsor Castle. It seems highly likely that the drawings in this lot once formed part of a similar album of landscape drawings by Ricci, though, since it must have been dismantled in the 20th Century, it is no longer possible to determine their early provenance.

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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London