View full screen - View 1 of Lot 27. Recto: Study of a man kneeling, looking upwards, his hands joined in prayer Verso: Various subsidiary studies for the same figure.
27

Francesco Fontebasso

Recto: Study of a man kneeling, looking upwards, his hands joined in prayer Verso: Various subsidiary studies for the same figure

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection

Francesco Fontebasso

Francesco Fontebasso

Recto: Study of a man kneeling, looking upwards, his hands joined in prayer Verso: Various subsidiary studies for the same figure

Recto: Study of a man kneeling, looking upwards, his hands joined in prayer Verso: Various subsidiary studies for the same figure

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Property from a Distinguished Private Collection

Francesco Fontebasso

Venice 1707 - 1769

Recto: Study of a man kneeling, looking upwards, his hands joined in prayer

Verso: Various subsidiary studies for the same figure


Pen and brown ink (recto & verso);

bears attribution and numbering in black chalk, verso: S. Ricci. / 49

220 by 133 mm; 8⅝ by 5¼ in.

Window mounted. Overall in very good condition. Light staining at the corners and some show through of the figures on the verso. Sold framed.


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.

Sale, Paris, Christie's, 26 June 2002, lot 54,
where purchased by the present owner 

This strong and dynamic pen and ink study of a kneeling man, his hands clasped in prayer, is most probably preparatory for a figure in one of Fontebasso's paintings.  The pentimento visible on the man's right, raised foot also indicates that the artist was working out the position as he went along, very probably with a larger composition in mind. Many kneeling figures appear throughout Fontebasso's painted oeuvre, but a tentative link can be made with his painting of S. Ludovico and Saints, in the Chiesa dell'Angelo Raffaele, Venice.1 A similarly posed, kneeling Saint Jerome, with his hands clasped in prayer, is located to the left of this composition, his right foot elevated on a marble step. In contrast, though, to the present drawing, the Saint's head is bowed downwards.


Another similar figure appears in a drawing by Fontebasso, depicting The Apostles Peter and John healing a Cripple, on the art market in 2007.2 That drawing originated from an album of some 55 studies all drawn on ledger paper with vertical ruled lines in black chalk running down the margins; other sheets from the same album are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


1. M. Magrini, Francesco Fontebasso (1707-1769), Venice 1988, no. 22, reproduced fig. 22

2. Sale, London, Christie's, 3 July 2007, lot 54