Description & Technical information

Vincenzo Gemito may be regarded as one of the finest Italian draughtsmen of the 19th century. Immensely gifted, he produced a large number of figure and portrait studies in pen, chalk, pastel and watercolour. His drawings were greatly admired throughout his career, and were avidly collected by his contemporaries. Yet until relatively recently Gemito’s drawings have remained little known outside Italy, and it may be argued that he deserves to be recognized as not only one of the most significant sculptors of the period, but also one of its most talented draughtsmen.

The present sheet once belonged to the eminent collector and philanthropist Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), whose wide-ranging collections included a fine group of European terracottas and Renaissance and later bronzes.

Brush and black wash, over an underdrawing in pencil, on light brown paper.
Signed and dated GEMITO / 1912 at the lower right.
Inscribed carbone grezzo / cent. 8 margine / cornice noce [?] on the verso.
Further inscribed dichiaro che questo disegno è autentico / avendolo avuto da Gemito personalmente / quando Egli mi fece dono di una / sua fotografia con dedica nel 1912 / Vittoria Castelfranco on the old backing sheet.

Medium: Brush and black wash
Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.8 cm (8⁵/₈ x 5³/₈ inches)
Provenance: Given by the artist to Vittoria Castelfranco in 1912 (according to the inscription on the old backing sheet)
Heim Gallery, London
Purchased from them by Arthur M. Sackler, New York
Thence by descent until 2010
Sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 29 January 2010, part of lot 560
Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, London, in 2010
Private collection, Madrid.
Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints