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Study for a Frontispiece, a baroque drawing by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini
Study for a Frontispiece, a baroque drawing by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini - Paintings & Drawings Style Study for a Frontispiece, a baroque drawing by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini -
Ref : 101984
8 500 €
Period :
17th century
Artist :
Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini
Provenance :
Medium :
Pen and grey ink wash
Dimensions :
l. 8.19 inch X H. 11.42 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Study for a Frontispiece, a baroque drawing by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini 17th century - Study for a Frontispiece, a baroque drawing by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini
Stéphane Renard Fine Art

Old master paintings and drawings

+33 (0) 61 46 31 534
Study for a Frontispiece, a baroque drawing by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini

11 7/16’’ x 8 3/16’’ (290 x 208 mm) - Framed: 19 5/16’’ x 16 5/16’’ (49 x 41.4 cm)

Provenance: Casanova Collection, Bologna - Tito Miotti Collection (Udine 1913 - 2002) (his stamp at the bottom left L4259)

Exhibition: 1959, Venezia, Fondazione Cini "Disegni e dipinti di Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini". n° 83 (described and reproduced in the exhibition catalogue)

Watermark: irregularly shaped cross potent
A crossed-out ball-point pen inscription on the reverse is visible in the top right-hand corner. A probably later inscription in the cartouche reads "MAUSOLEI E ISCRIZIONI VARIE".

Salvador Rosa type frame in carved and gilded wood

This masterly frontispiece study, executed with a very sure hand, testifies to the survival of the great Baroque taste in 18th century Venice. It could be one of the very last works by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini: the few lines that cross the papal arms evoke those of Benedict XIV, who became pope in 1740, one year before the artist's death.

1. Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini and the European influence of Venetian history painting in the 18th century

Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini was born in Venice in 1675 and trained in the studio of the Milanese painter Paolo Pagani (1655 - 1716). Pagani, who had been living in Venice since 1667, took him to Moravia and Vienna from 1690 to 1696. After a stay in Rome from 1699 to 1701, Pellegrini married Angiola Carriera in 1704, the sister of the great pastelist Rosalba Carriera.

From 1708 onwards, Pellegrini left Venice and began an extensive tour of Europe: he worked in England between 1708 and 1713, where he met great success, particularly at Kimbolton Castle and Castle Howard. He then worked in Germany and the Netherlands, then in Bohemia and Austria, before returning briefly to England in 1719. In 1720 he was in Paris where he decorated the ceilings of the Royal Bank for John Law before returning to Venice in 1721.

He continued to alternate between important commissions abroad (he was also accepted by the Royal Academy of Painting in Paris in 1733) and stays in Venice where he settled permanently in 1737.

Gifted with an immense facility of execution, Pellegrini is considered the great precursor of Tiepolo, even if the destruction of many of his decorations throughout Europe (Castle Howard, the ceilings of the Royal Bank and Mannheim Castle...) makes it more difficult to appreciate his work today.

2. Description of the artwork

Pellegrini gives free rein to his baroque spirit in the composition of this frontispiece: while three putti bustle around a shield surmounted by the papal tiara, three winged figures (featuring Virtues?) present the cartouche on which the text of the frontispiece is to be inscribed. The motif is entirely executed in a supple pen stroke and the figures are brought to life by the ink wash.

The composition of this drawing is reminiscent of a ceiling study, and in this small work, which was probably intended for engraving, we find the breath of the large-scale decorations in which Pellegrini excelled.

The presence of the crosshatching on the papal arms evokes the Lambertini family coat of arms (“D’oro a tre pali di rosso”) and suggests that this design may have been commissioned shortly after the election of Benedict XIV on August 17th, 1740. It is amusing to see below the shield one of the three putti wearing a cardinal's hat that he has stolen, as if to suggest that it was no longer necessary for the newly elected pope...

The Nationalmuseum in Stockholm has another frontispiece project by Pellegrini executed in the same lively and playful style.

3. Framing

We have chosen to frame this drawing in a Salvador Rosa type frame in carved and gilded wood.

Main bibliographic reference :
Alessandro Bettagno - Disegini e dipinti di Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini 1675-1741 (Catalogo della Mostra) - Neri Pozza Editore Venezia 1959

Delevery information :

The prices indicated are the prices for purchases at the gallery.

Depending on the price of the object, its size and the location of the buyer we are able to offer the best transport solution which will be invoiced separately and carried out under the buyer's responsibility.

Stéphane Renard Fine Art


Drawing & Watercolor