Genoa 1512 - 1600 Rocca Contrada
A ROCKY LANDSCAPE WITH TREES
Pen and brown ink and wash, heightened with white, on blue paper;
dated in pen and brown ink, upper left: da qui f. g. 13. f / genarro 1570. inscribed, upper right: rippone o fossatto sotto i prati di me[sser] / signmondo: li.3.f.7re. 1569. and numbered, upper right: :12.
further inscribed and dated in brown ink, verso: Arbori co le radi...piene di barbe sottili. ...M[esser]. / fosso sotto la fonte di Me[sser] s...duccio DD 20.. / agosto 1569. presente M[ess]r. paolo Ardoino. E qui / ...li 14. di gennaio.1570
142 by 218 mm; 5½ by 8½ in
Hinge mounted to a modern cream mount. The edges of the sheet are somewhat uneven and there is some surface dirt to the extremities. There is a small pin prick hole to the lower right and left corners. The work remains in fundamentally good condition with the blue paper retaining much of its original color. Sold unframed.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
This delightful sheet, evidently once part of a sketchbook, is a highly characteristic example of Gherardo Cibo's drawings from nature. Further sheets, plausibly from the same sketchbook and similar in size and style to the present work, were sold in these rooms in 2015.1
Cibo's drawings were previously attributed to a variety of northern artists, with Arnold Nesselrath the first to establish the artist's true identity, which was most probably lost by his drastic decision - when only twenty-eight years old - to abandon the papal city and his promising ecclesiastical career, for a secluded life in the Marches.2 He was from a highly influential aristocratic Genoese family and had received his education in Bologna and Rome. For sixty years he lived mostly in the small city of Rocca Contrada (today Arcevia), where his mother Bianca Maria Vigeri della Rovere resided.
Cibo was a botanist and a scientist, knowledgeable in medicine, a literary figure, a musician and, of course, a talented draughtsman. His poetic views encapsulate the beauty of the countryside and of the mountainous areas in the Marches and are often accompanied by inscriptions that give us, as here, an insight regarding the moment the drawing was made and the place depicted, adding a delightful, autobiographical quality.
Cibo could, as Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi wrote '...be considered as the very embodiment of that fascinating Renaissance ideal - the "artist-scientist-dilettante."3
1. Sale, New York, Sotheby's, 28 January 2015, lots 3 and 4
2. A. Nesselrath, Gherardo Cibo, exhib. cat., San Severino Marche, 1989
3. L. Tongiorgi Tomasi, 'Gherardo Cibo: Visions of landscape...', Journal of Garden History, vol. 9, no. 4, 1989, p. 215