A SKETCH OF THE PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA, FLORENCE
inscribed on the reverse: G. Gherardi f.
oil on board
board: 9½ by 12⅞ in.; 24.1 by 32.7 cm.
framed: 13¼ by 16½ in.; 33.7 by 41.9 cm.
Painting reads well and clear beneath the varnish. It is in overall good condition, and the impasto is well-preserved in areas. There are some very tiny losses at the corners of the board (ie: upper left corner), and there is some faint rubbing along all edges from the frame. There is one faint diagonal scuff to varnish in the sky at right above the architecture, and a spot of repair at center of the upper edge, with an associated thin crack. Inspection under UV further reveals retouching at corners as well as a few finely applied strokes and spots of retouching in the sky. The architecture appears to be largely untouched. Offered in a simply carved giltwood frame.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
This lively and luminous sketch by Giuseppe Gherardi records a view of the famed Piazza della Signoria in Florence. While some of the most famous landmarks, such as the Palazzo Vecchio at center and the Loggia della Signoria, have been recorded with nearly finished detail, the figures that fill the square are captured with quick and cursory brushstrokes so as to record a momentary impression, suggesting that Gherardi made this sketch in situ.
Gherardi explored views of this square on a few occasions and in different media. In addition to the present example, which is oil on artists's board, a pen and ink drawing of the Piazza della Signoria is in the Art Institute of Chicago,1 and a signed and dated oil on canvas from 1865 was sold at Sotheby's New York on 29 January 2009, lot 214.2
1. Inv. no. 1922.5698. Pen and black ink, brown and gray wash on cream wove paper, laid down on card, 30 by 41 cm.
2. Oil on original canvas, 77 by 105 cm, signed and dated lower right G. Gherardi / 1865.