Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth

27 January 2021 • New York

Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth
Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth
Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth
Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth
245

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth

Estimate:

25,000 - 35,000 USD

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth

Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth

Estimate:

25,000 - 35,000 USD

Bid:

18,000

USD

Waiting for auctioneer to open lot

Waiting for auctioneer to open lot

Description

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Venice 1696 - 1770 Madrid

Study of a boy with his hand to his mouth


Pen and brown ink and gray-brown wash over black chalk;

bears numbering in pencil, verso: 26

244 by 190 mm; 9 5/8 by 7 1/2 in

Condition report

Partially adhered to a paper backing which has subsequently been hinged to a modern mount. There is a loss to the upper right corner and an old repair to the same area. There are some very faint water stains to the lower left quarter, lower right edge and upper edge and some show through of an old numbering to the upper left corner from the verso. The drawing itself remains in absolutely delightful condition with the combination of media fresh and vibrant throughout and the image strong. 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.

Provenance

Probably Library of the Somasco Convent, S. Maria della Salute, Venice;
Count Leopoldo Cicognara;
Antonio Canova;
by inheritance to his half-brother, Monsignor Giovanni Battista Sartori-Canova;
Francesca Pesaro;
by whom sold to Col. Edward Cheney, Badger Hall, Shropshire;
by inheritance to his brother-in-law, Col. Alfred Capel-Cure, Blake Hall;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 29 April 1885 (presumably part of lot 1024);
with E. Parsons & Sons, London;
with P. & D. Colnaghi, London;
with Richard Owen, Paris;
with Savile Gallery;
sale, New York, Sotheby's, 16 January 1986, lot 175,
purchased at this sale

Literature

B. Aikema, Tiepolo and His Circle, Drawings in American Collections, Cambridge and New York, 1996, p. 302, under no. 113, fig. 1, reproduced (as Present whereabouts unknown)

Catalogue note

Like the outstanding Tiepolo drawings of The Holy Family and the Head of a Madonna in the collection (lots 257 and 264 below), this particularly fine example of one of the artist's bravura character head studies originates from the so-called Savile Album, which Tiepolo gave to the Somasco Convent in Venice in 1762, before he left for Spain.  Though it contained two highly important series of drawings by Tiepolo, this was just one of no fewer than nine albums of Tiepolo drawings subsequently owned by the English collector Edward Cheney (1803-1884), who lived in Venice for many years. By the time this drawing reached the hands of Richard Owen, in Paris, it was one of ninety-three similar so-called fantasy heads that the dealer owned, all documented in a series of photographs in the Fine Arts Library at Harvard University.1In studies such as this, we see all of Tiepolo's genius for capturing character, light, and energy with the minimum of lines, combined with perfectly applied passages of wash. Though he made a considerable number of these head studies, every one of them is fresh and original in viewpoint or pose; here, the boy is caught in the fleeting, momentary action of covering his mouth with his hand. 


1. Harvard University, Fine Arts Library, Special Collections (Photographic Resources) [372d/T442/95(h)39]