145
145
Attributed to Pietro Testa
A WOUNDED SOLDIER (AFTER TRAJAN'S COLUMN)
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 6,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
145
Attributed to Pietro Testa
A WOUNDED SOLDIER (AFTER TRAJAN'S COLUMN)
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 6,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings including the Collection of Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann

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New York

Attributed to Pietro Testa
LUCCA 1612 - 1650 ROME
A WOUNDED SOLDIER (AFTER TRAJAN'S COLUMN)
Pen and brown ink and wash, over traces of black chalk;
bears old attribution in brown ink, lower right: Le Poussine, and on the old mount: Nicolo Poussin (lower center) and 880 (upper right)
 250 by 210 mm; 9 7/8  by 8¼ in 
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Provenance

Sir Joshua Reynolds (L.2604);
The Rev. Daniel Elias, Taunton;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 28 January 1965, lot 104 (as Nicolas Poussin);
sale, London, Christie's, 2 December 1969, lot 208 (as Nicolas Poussin);
with Thomas Agnew, London;
with Paul Drey Gallery, New York, 1971;
Curtis O. Baer;
sale, New York, Sotheby's, 12 January 1990, lot 53 (as Nicolas Poussin),
where acquired by A. Alfred Taubman

Exhibited

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, et al., Master Drawings from Titian to Picasso, The Curtis O. Baer Collection, 1985-87, p. 187, no. 152, reproduced (as Nicolas Poussin)

Literature

W. Friedlaender and A. Blunt, The Drawings of Nicolas Poussin, Catalogue Raisonné, London, 1974, vol. V, p. 37, no. 335a (as Poussin);
A. Blunt, 'Newly Identified Drawings by Poussin and his Followers,' Master Drawings, vol. XII, 1974, p. 243, pl. 12 (as Poussin);
R. Verdi, Tancred and Herminia, exhibition catalogue, Birmingham City Art Gallery, 1992-1993, p. 17, fig. 7, p. 33 note 9 (as Poussin);
P. Rosenberg-L.-A. Prat, Nicolas Poussin, Catalogue raisonné des dessins, vol. II, p. 950, R 676, reproduced (as not Poussin, possibly Pietro Testa)

Catalogue Note

This is one of a group of detailed studies after the reliefs on Trajan's column, which Blunt published as works by Poussin, pointing out that they are in fact based not on the original antique reliefs but on 16th-century engravings by Francesco Villamena, from Alonso Chacon's publication Historia utriusque belle Dacici a Traino Caesare gesti, ex simulachris quae in columna erusdem Romae visuntar collecta (Rome 1576).1  Blunt associated this drawing with another by the same hand, which he believed also to be the work of Poussin, A soldier on horseback in the Szépmüvészeti Muzeum, Budapest.2 Both drawings bears the same old attribution to Poussin, and both came from the collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 

To these Rosenberg and Prat have added a third drawing: A Barbarian prisoner, executed in the same media, which appeared on the London art market in 1977.3  On stylistic grounds, Rosenberg and Prat have rejected the attribution to Poussin of all three of these studies, suggesting that the greatest similarities are rather with the work of Pietro Testa.  The name of Pietro Testa seems to be a plausible alternative for this attractive sheet, characterized by a fine and sensitive pen line, enriched with abundant brown wash. It is carefully and delicately drawn, and although the artist was somewhat constrained by the fact that he was copying from an ancient model, he appears to have been especially interested in characterizing the soldiers' strong facial expressions.

Testa, who was working for Cassiano dal Pozzo for some time from around 1630, made a large number of drawings after the Antique.  Most of these are preserved in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, while a smaller and less well known group, also from Cassiano’s Museo Cartaceo, is now in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the British Museum.4

1.  A. Blunt, The Drawings of Poussin, London 1979, pp. 131ff

2.  Inv. no. 2886; A. Blunt, op. cit., 1974, p. 243, pl. 13

3.  Sale, London, Christie's, 8 March 1977, part of lot 92 (as N. Poussin); Rosenberg and Prat, op. cit., vol. III, p. 824, no. R. 211

4.  N. Turner, ‘The Drawings of Pietro Testa after the Antique in Cassiano dal Pozzo's Paper Museum,’ Cassiano dal Pozzo's Paper Museum,vol. II, 1992, pp. 127-144

Old Master Drawings including the Collection of Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann

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New York