Lot n° 16
4000 - 6000
Francesco GUARDI (1712-1793)
Trophies with military attributes
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, on paper; one pair 26.4 x 16.3 cm; 27.5 x 19.1 cm
Provenance: - Former personal collection of Giancarlo Baroni (†2007), Florence, - Private Collection, France
This pair of double-sided drawings is, to our knowledge, a rare example of set designs by the young Francesco Guardi.
It is now generally accepted that Francesco began his apprenticeship in the family workshop run by his brother Giovanni Antonio, 14 years his senior.
As a comparison, let us mention the back of a drawing by Giovanni Antonio1 (Venice, Museo Correr), which contains three trophies, and one of his paintings2 (Venice, Fondazione Cini), illustrating Vulcan, intended for the decor of the Palazzo Suppiei in Venice. This decoration, also composed of the Aurora, XXX and XXX, was the subject of a debate between Giovanni Antonio and Francesco on their attribution; the debate was closed by Morassi, who saw in it the only hand of Giovanni Antonio and, dating it from after 1750, ruled out a collaboration between the brothers and the hypothesis of a four-handed work. The painting depicting Vulcan presents, in the lower part, numerous military accessories from the divine forge, several of which are found in our drawings (breastplate, axe, spear, rondache, etc.).
These elegant trophies, born from a rather nervous feather, are an interesting testimony of Francesco's early days. It should be noted that the watermark on the paper used, showing three crescents, is also that of the drawing mentioned earlier in the Museo Correr. On the back of this drawing there is a sketch for the figure of Saint Vincent Ferrer, which Morassi attributes to Francesco and which he relates to one of his paintings of the same subject3 (Private Collection, c. 1770-1780).
We warmly thank Professor Bern
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