View full screen - View 1 of Lot 99. Study for a lunette: Eliab, architect of the Ark of the Covenant.
99

Luca Giordano, called Fa Presto

Study for a lunette: Eliab, architect of the Ark of the Covenant

Drawings from the Collection of Carlos Alberto Cruz

Luca Giordano, called Fa Presto

Luca Giordano, called Fa Presto

Study for a lunette: Eliab, architect of the Ark of the Covenant

Study for a lunette: Eliab, architect of the Ark of the Covenant

Drawings from the Collection of Carlos Alberto Cruz

Luca Giordano, called Fa Presto

Naples 1634 - 1705

Study for a lunette: Eliab, architect of the Ark of the Covenant


Black chalk and grey and brown wash:

inscribed with the point of the brush and grey ink: S Isaias Profeta, and bears old attribution in pen and ink: ?Mazo f and upper left 10 rs [reales] and in pencil Isaia

135 by 115 mm

Laid down and hinged at the top. A light brown stain to the left over part of the arm. Top left corner missing and two pin point holes over the right top margin and a small stain. Light foxing and brown tiny stains perhaps insect dropping to the right center. Media still very strong


Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Félix Boix Collection, Madrid;
private collection, Barcelona;
with Ruiz Linares Anticuario, Granada, 
where purchased by the present owner in 2002
W. Vitzthum, Cento disegni napoletani sec. XVI-XVIII, exhib. cat., Florence, Uffizi, 1967, p. 61, reproduced;
W. Vitzthum, Il Barocco a Napoli e nell’Italia meridionale. Milan 1971, p. 91, reproduced p. 75, fig. 27 (enlarged)
A typical work from Giordano's Spanish period, this drawing is characterized by geometric forms and by intelligent and quick abbreviations.  It was first attributed to Giordano by Walter Vitzthum in 1967 (see Literature).  Executed primarily in black chalk enhanced by luminous nuances of wash in shades of grey and light brown, it shows an economy of line strengthened by the strong contrasts of light and shade that make the artist's studies of this type especially powerful.  In the early 1690s Giordano was drawn to Spain by the patronage of Charles II, and the sovereign's desire to complete the decoration of the magnificent monument of El Escorial.  This sheet belongs to a group of drawings related to Giordano's decorations of the vaults in the basilica of St. Lorenzo.

This was a vast project which Giordano started after frescoing the 'Escalera' in September 1692.  These frescoes on the vaulted ceilings, to which this study relates, were not conceived at the same time and contemporary accounts of Giordano’s activity in Spain reveal that while executing a composition in one vault, Giordano was at the same time presenting drawings and oil sketches to the king and his advisers to convey his pictorial ideas for the next composition.  After completing the presbytery in October 1693,  he was engaged in 1694 on the decoration of the two transepts, frescoing two magnificent vaults celebrating the history of Israel.  The scenes in the vault to the right include The Crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites and The Journey to the Promised Land, Moses with his People, Elias Comforted by the Angel.  The lunette to the right contains the figures of Betzalel and Eliab, the architects of the Ark of the Covenant.

The present sheet relates to the figure of Eliab.  The pose and the marked foreshortening are perfectly in keeping with the figures finally used by Giordano for this lunette.  A similar study representing Eliezer and Gershom, Moses's sons, related to the opposite lunette, was in the Adrien collection.1 

1.  Sale, Paris, Sotheby's, 22 March 2018, lot 47; Dessins de la Collection Christian et Isabelle Adrien, exh. cat., Rennes, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 2012, p. 79, no. 22, reproduced p. 78