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226

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, called Il Grechetto

Three Philosophers with Putti

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, called Il Grechetto

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, called Il Grechetto

Three Philosophers with Putti

Three Philosophers with Putti

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, called Il Grechetto

Genoa 1609 - 1664 Mantua

Three Philosophers with Putti


Pen and brown ink and wash;

numbered in brown ink, lower centre: 36

253 by 399 mm; 10 by 15 5/8 in

Laid down on to a Skippe mount. The four corners have been made up, very possibly by Skippe himself. There are some light brown stains to the left edge and an old hole below the foot of the philosopher on the right of the composition. There is a small area of abrasion to the backside of the putto in the lower centre of the composition. The work remains in otherwise good condition throughout with the combination of media 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.

John B. Skippe (1742-1811),
by descent to Edward Holland, Mrs Rayner Wood, and Edward Holland-Martin;
sale of the Skippe Collection, London, Christie's, 20-21 November 1958, lot 71 (catalogue by A.E. Popham);
with P. & D. Colnaghi, London, 1959 (Old Master Drawings, 1959, cat. no. 22);
Wilfred Thesiger, London;
sale, New York, Sotheby's, 12 January 1990, lot 71;
with Eduardo Testori, Milan;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 7 July 1999, lot 42;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 10 July 2002, lot 133;
sale, London, Christie's, 6 July 2004, lot 65
F. Stampfle and J. Bean, Drawings from New York Collections, II, The Seventeenth Century in Italy, New York, 1967, p. 59 under cat. no. 79;
A. Percy, 'A Castiglione Album,' Master Drawings, vol. 4, (1968), pp. 144 and 148, no. 10, pl. 41a;
Idem, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Master Draughtsman of the Italian Baroque, Philadelphia, 1971, p. 72 under cat. no. 22
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, The Baroque Genius of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, 2012 (no catalogue)

The expansively drawn, large sheet of studies belongs to a series of similarly executed drawings by Castiglione, all numbered in the same way, which probably originated from a single album. The link between the drawings was first noted by Felice Stampfle and Jacob Bean, and explored and described in more detail by Ann Percy, in her 1968 Master Drawings article (see Literature). Although Castiglione is perhaps best known as a draughtsman for his highly original, mixed-media colored works and his monotypes, drawings such as this demonstrate to the full his ability to create accomplished and dynamic works when using the more traditional media of pen and ink and wash.


Percy dated these drawings between the late 1640s and the early 1650s, and noted that they fell into four distinct groups, by subject-matter. They do not, however, generally relate to paintings by the artist, and may have been made simply as exercises in invention. Other drawings from the group are in major European and American museum collections.1  Particularly close to the present sheet, in terms of conception and style, are three works from the series in New York, Venice and Paris2, and another, recently exhibited, in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.


For a point of the brush and oil study by Castiglione see lot 233


1. See Percy, op. cit., 1968, and op. cit., 1971, cat nos. 22-34 

2. See Percy, op. cit., 1971, cat. nos. 23-25

3. RL 3924; see T.J. Standring and M. Clayton, Castiglione, Lost Genius, exh. cat., London, The Queen's Gallery, 2013, pp. 131, 133, cat. 73