Description & Technical information

As has been noted, Pelagio Palagi ‘demonstrated extraordinary facility as an expressive draftsman’, and the present sheet is a splendid example of his refined Neoclassical technique. Among stylistically comparable chalk drawings by Palagi are a Hylas and the Nymphs in a private collection, which is a study for a painting of c.1810-1811 in a private collection in Florence, and a Virgin and Child with the Infant Saint John, also in a private collection. A signed drawing of The Birth of Cupid that appeared at auction in Italy in 1996 is likewise very similar to the present sheet, as is a study of a Sleeping Cupid, signed and dated 1819, in the Albertina in Vienna. 

Comparisons may also be made with a lithograph by Palagi of a Sleeping Cupid, while a similar subject is found in a large etching of The Education of Cupid by Mauro Gandolfi, which reproduces a much smaller circular painting by Palagi of 1820-1821.

Period:  19th century
Medium: Black chalk over traces of an underdrawing in red chalk, heightened with touches of gold.
Dimensions: 17.2 x 22.9 cm (6³/₄ x 9 inches)
Provenance: Nicolaas Teeuwisse, Berlin.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints