Four Studies of Hands
Back to all artworks


Four Studies of Hands

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

Medium Black chalk, White chalk, Blue paper

Dimension 41 x 26.3 cm (16¹/₈ x 10³/₈ inches)

This large sheet is likely to have been intended as a study for a painting - similar hands are found, for example, in Fontebasso’s genre painting of two young boys, in a private collection in Venice - or as a studio exercise, and it is interesting to note here how close Fontebasso’s style is here to the early chalk drawings of Giambattista Tiepolo. A closely related drawing of Four Studies of Hands, of similar technique and dimensions, was on the art market in 2005, while also comparable is a drawing of five hands formerly in the Italico Brass and Benjamin Sonnenberg collections and sold at auction in New York in 1979, and another sheet of studies of five hands that appeared at auction in Paris in 2019.

Similar studies of hands, sometimes juxtaposed with studies of heads, are also found in other drawings by Fontebasso; one such example is in the Szépmuvèszeti Muzeum in Budapest and another, from the collection of Giancarlo Baroni, was on the art market in New York in 1995. Analogous studies of hands, although in pen and ink, appear on a drawing by Fontebasso in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Black chalk, heightened with touches of white chalk, on blue paper, backed.

Medium: Black chalk, White chalk, Blue paper

Dimension: 41 x 26.3 cm (16¹/₈ x 10³/₈ inches)

Provenance: Dr. Carl Robert Rudolf, London
His posthumous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 4 July 1977, lot 144 (as attributed to Georg Anton Urlaub)
Pietro Scarpa, Venice
Mia Weiner, New York, in 1985
Acquired from her in 1990 by John O’Brien, Charles Town, West Virginia (Lugt 4230).

Literature: Marina Magrini, Francesco Fontebasso: I disegni, Saggi e memorie di storia dell’arte, 1990, p.184, no.113 (not illustrated).

Exhibition: New York, Mia Weiner at Piero Corsini, Inc., Old Master Drawings, 1985, not numbered.

Discover the Gallery

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

Old Master, 19th Century and Modern Drawings, Watercolours and Oil Sketches

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙