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BASEL - 1863 - PARIS - 1955

Watercolor on paper

Height : 22 cm
Width : 32 cm

Hans Garnjobst studies decorative painting in Basel from 1879 to 1881, before attending in Paris the lessons of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) at the famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, from 1881 to 1883, date of his departure for Italy (mainly Florence, Rome, Naples) until 1889, year of his return to Basel (again for a period of three years). Since 1889, he shares his time between his Minusio house (Canton Ticino) and Paris in winter. He settles definitively in Paris in 1935. In 1886, he sent three works (151 Fantasy ; 152 Roman landscape,watercolor ; 154 Head of an old man, watercolor) to a travelling exhibition in Switzerland (exhibition of the Société Suisse des Beaux Arts ; in the Zürich exhibition catalogue, he is described as « Hans Garnjobst aus Basel in Rom »). In 1898, Emile Hinzelin, writes for La Lorraine-Artiste dated 16 January, reviewing an exhibition in Basel mentions « Hans Garnjobst, qui restitue aux femmes leur physionomie d’attention un peu étonnée ». He participated to the Exposition Internationale Universelle of 1900 in Paris with three works, My Mother, Primitive period, Autumn morning, Locarno, watercolor (respectively n°71, 72, 73, of the official catalogue which introduces him as « élève de M. Gérôme », he was then living 12 rue Boissonnade in Paris). In 1901 il he had a personal exhibition in Munich, and in 1909, he loaned for the 8th Biennale in Venice a Léda, by his friend Albert Besnard (1849-1934, catalogue n° 28). The works we present, some of which are signed or annotated by his wife (Rosalie Moglia, 1888-1972, they had a daughter Hélène, 1916-1999), date for the main part of the South Italy trip, views of Pompeii or the Naples bay.

The Thieme-Becker dictionary reports that our artist began in a style close to his compatriot Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901), to evolve, probably due to his Paris, sojourn, towards Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898) or Albert Besnard (Garnjobst’s friend, as we saw). Nothing such appears in the works we present which seem to us eventually closer to another compatriot and contemporary (they both exhibited in Basel in 1898), the ticinese Augusto Giacometti (1877-1947). But, above all, if we compare to French painting, anticipating the colorful Fauve explosion.

MONT- SAINT-PÈRE - 1844 - PARIS - 1925

Charcoal on paper

H.: 32,2 cm
L.: 41,4 cm
(View dimensions)

Signed lower right: L. Lhermitte

Inscription on the back of framing : « étude pour le tableau du Musée du Luxembourg, la mort et le bûcheron »

Son of a schoolmaster from the Aisne, Lhermitte draws since his early youth, copying from books and reviews the works of the great masters. His talent gains him a grant from the Beaux-Arts minister completed by a departmental pension which enables him to enter the “Ecole impériale de dessin” in Paris. As soon as 1864 exhibits at the Salon, with a drawing, his first painting being sent only in 1866, the year during which he leaves the Ecole des beaux-arts. The beginning of recognition of his talent came with La Moisson, painting sent to the 1874 Salon, awarded a third-class medal, and bought by the State for the Carcassonne museum, whereas public success came only in 1882, with La Paye des moissonneurs, monumental genre scene transcended into History painting. Will then follow public commissions for monumental decorations of official buildings (the new Town Hall, the Sorbonne), and participations to panels of judges for various Prizes and Salons, honors culminating in 1905 (he received the Légion d’honneur in 1884) with his election at the Académie des beaux-arts (replacing Henner).

Our drawing is a preliminary study for the painting Death and the woodcutter, painted 1892/93, exhibited at the 1893 Salon de la Société nationale des beaux-arts ( catalogue n°692) and immediately bought by the State and recently sent to the Jean de la Fontaine museum in Château-Thierry. The artist illustrates here La Fontaine, from the first book of fables premier, published in 1668 :

« Il appelle la Mort. Elle vient sans tarder, / Lui demande ce qu’il faut faire/ C’est, dit-il, afin de m’aider/ A recharger ce bois ; tu ne tarderas guère ».

Monique Le Pelley Fonteny, « Léon Lhermitte, catalogue raisonné », Paris 1991, illustrates six studies for the painting (n° 530 to 535, and 888 of her catalogue), noticing the evolution of the representation of Death, initially a haymaker with her scythe, then a draped woman, and finally a draped skeleton ( that the artist borrowed to his friend Rodin).


Pen, black ink, black and grey wash, with white highlights on black chalk

Height : 46.3 cm
Width : 39.3 cm
(Visual measurements : 56.6 x 45.5 cm for the entire drawing)

Entitled on the original mount "composition pour une édition de Jeanne d’Arc" (composition for a book on Joan of Arc); original frame

Provenance : former Mame collection, Tours

Jean-Paul Laurens was briefly a pupil at the École des Beaux-arts in Toulouse. A municipal scholarship then enabled him to study at the École des Beaux-arts in Paris under Léon Cogniet. His failure to win the Prix de Rome did not prevent him from having a successful career marked by a number of State commissions and purchases, culminating in the Sainte-Geneviève cycle at the Panthéon, unveiled in 1882. In 1885, the Tours publishing house Mame produced a book on Joan of Arc by Marius Sepet, illustrated by leading contemporary artists. Laurens' drawing, which comes from the Mame collection, was not chosen for the book. However, it matches a painting, now lost, which can be dated back to the same period. The motif of the circular dungeon, giving movement to the composition while accentuating the dramatic effect, can be found in other works like La Vengeance d’Urbain VI ("The vengeance of Urban VI"; 1884, not located) and Les Otages ("The hostages"; 1896, Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts).

ANGERS - 1788 - PARIS - 1856


Height : 24 cm
Length : 15,7 cm

David d’Angers, a pupil of David, « prix de Rome » for sculpture in 1811, friend of Canova, is today famous for his portrait medallions of contemporary celebrities. He also was a distinguished draftsman, as demonstrate our drawing where the purism of the line enhances the strange beauty of the sitter. We think we can identify her to Amélie de Gisors, born Aimée Louise Malapert, wife of Alphonse de Gisors (1796-1866), the architect of the Luxembourg and the Ecole des beaux-arts. David d’Angers made her portrait medallion in 1827 and that of her husband in 1830. He also drew two portraits of Mrs de Gisors and her daughter, now in the Angers museum, which enable us to suggest this identification.


LYON - 1727 - PARME - 1801

Pen and black ink

Height :
40,3 cm
Height :
40 cm
Height :
40 cm
Height :
40,1 cm
Width :
28,2 cm
Width :
24,6 cm
Width :
27,5 cm
Width :
30,6 cm

We suggest, for this set of drawings, an attribution to Petitot, architect from Lyon who made career in Parma. These are probably projects for monuments or ephemeral decorations or eventually for prints (never realized).

Petitot was in Lyon a student of Jean-Germain Soufflot before entering the Académie royale in Paris. He wins the Grand Prix in 1745, which enables him to stay in Rome, from 1746 to 1750. Back in Paris, he works in Notre-Dame, and for the comte de Caylus. In 1753, he accepts the invitation of the Parma Court to be Architetto delle Fabbriche Ducali and professor at the local academy, and arrives there in May 1753, and never left. He works for the palaces (Colorno) and gardens (Giardino Ducale) of the duchy, but also creates ephemeral decoration for court feasts and events. An exhibition was dedicated to his work in Rome, Parma, Lyon in 1989 « Feste Fontane Festoni a Parma nel Settecento ». We find in our drawings his fantasy and originality of his decorative style.

1703 - PARIS - 1770

Red chalk
Height : 20,5 cm
Length : 33,7 cm

François Boucher was not only the painter of mythological or gallant scenes that made his reputation, he also produced a number of « rustical » scenes inspired by seventeenth century Dutch masters (that he collected), our drawing of a young girl feeding her chicken is a good example. It is of course not a drawing made on the spot, but elaborated in the workshop, and for the trade, as demonstrate what is left of the original mount.

VENICE - 1696 - MADRID - 1770

Pen and brown ink, brown wash, on traces of black chalk

Height : 23,5 cm
Width : 26,2 cm

Inscribed lower right: Tiepolo F.

Provenance : Paul Delaroff, St Petersburg, his mark (L.663) on the former backing (not preserved); Maris Marignane, Paris, her mark (L.1848), lower right.

Invoked against epidemics, especially those of plague, Roch (circa 1350-1380) became in the fifteenth century one of the most venerated, and then represented, of Christianity. Born into a rich family in Montpellier, he chose eremitic life. Pilgrimage led him to Rome from 1368 to 1371. Caught by plague, he lived in the woods where God sent him an angel to cure him, while a dog brought him bread every day. Back in Montpellier, nobody recognized him, and he was jailed as spy, and there he died. His relics were brought to Venice in 1485, and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco was built to house them. It is most probably for this confraternity that Tiepolo, in the 1730’s, painted a series of small canvases with the saint, each member of the confraternity being supposed to have one.
We know today of twenty two canvases, all of vertical shape. Four of them, in private collections, show a composition similar to our drawing, the figure being seen from three-quarters back.

Our drawing, essentially made of light contrasts, can, by the abundant use of wash, be compared to some drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (George Knox, catalogue of the Tiepolo Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London 1975, nn.2, 9, 13, 16)) or in the national gallery in Trieste, them too dating from the 1730’s.

Professor George Knox, to whom we are grateful for confirming the attribution and his help with this entry, enhances the rarity of this type of drawing in Tiepolo’s work, and emphasizes the wonderful luminosity of this sheet.

BRUSSELS - 1632 - PARIS - 1690

Black chalk (recto)
Black and red chalks (verso)

Height : 13 cm
Length : 22, 3 cm
Inscribed « château de sedan » (recto) / Sedan come de frond » (sic, verso)

After training in Brussels and Antwerp, his skill for the representation of horses and landscapes being known abroad, he is called in Paris by Charles Le Brun. He is in charge of immortalizing the King’s image, and follows Louis XIV in all his travels, including battles. He was entitled « peintre ordinaire des Conqêtes du Roy ». This rapid sketch, obviously made on the spot, does not seem to have been used in a larger composition.

ASCOLI PICENO - 1600 - ROME - 1670

Bodycolour and gold on velum

Signed lower left (on the chair): Giovanna Garzoni F
Torn upper and lower right corners

Height : 23,5 cm
Length : 23,5 cm

Born into a family of craftsmen and artists, Giovanna deliberately turned towards an artistic carreer, probably starting her apprenticeship with her uncle Pietro Gaia, then in Venice,probably with Palma Giovane who had been her uncle’s masster (her family was of venitian origin). Her first (and unique) painting painted circa 1620 for the Ospedale degli Incurabili reveals Palma’s influence (this painting, S. Andrew,is now in Accademia). In 1630, Giovanna and her brother Matteo leave for Naples, and she works foe the Spanish viceroy, the duke of Alcalà, and stays there till 1632, but don’t know any picture from this period. In 1632, she goes to Torino, entering the service of Christine de France, duchess of Savoy(wife of duke Victor AmedeoIst), and stays there five years, painting court portraits, sacred and profane subjects, and her first still lives. From 1638 to 1641, she is not documented, bet one suspects a travel to France and England, where the King and Queen are brother and sister of the duchess of Savoy. She is documented in Rome on August, Ist 1642, with her brother, and in 1646 she is in Florence, where she starts an account book which today permits us to document her work (“Fatture che io Giovanna Garzoni presentai al GranDucha”). 1651 sees her back in Rome, where she will stay until her death in 1670, rich and famous. She will leave to the St Luke Academy, of which she was a member, her archives, a book of drawings, and some works.

It is during her Florentine stay, between 1646 and 1651, that she painted for Ferdinando II the picture here presented, reproducing the famous Raphael tondo, (now in Palazzo Pitti). The Florentine archives tell us that the painting was taken from the “Trbuna” in the Uffizi, and delivered to the artist on January, 1649,26th, and that she returned it worn (“riavuto ma guasto”, A.G.F., Giornaletto delle Gallerie 1646-1688, ms.62,c.10). The Garzoni painting the went to the Poggio Imperiale villa, where it is listed until the late seventeenth century, and precisely described so that we can identify it to ours. If Giovanna Garzoni is today famous for her still lives, we know from the florentine archives that she made other copies of famous works (Raphael, Reni) following a frequent use at the Medici court: it is not servile copies, but interpretations in another medium of a masterpiece.

1595 - SIENNA - 1673

Red chalk

H.: 33, 8 cm
L.: 24, 7 cm

Laid down. Pencil inscription under the foot: R Vanni

Raffaello Vanni was son of Francesco Vanni (1564-1610), Sienna leading artist of late sixteenth century but being only 15 when his father died, he didn’t take profit of his teaching. He studied mainly in Rome, with Antonio Carracci, learning also from the new styles of the Lombard Caravaggio and the Bolognese Carracci, Reni or Dominichino. He was later seduced by Pietro da Cortona, and then imported Baroque in Sienna, where he in turn became the leading artist. It is most possible that during his apprenticeship with Antonio Carracci he also studied the Antique, so present in Rome, and our drawing might be one of those studies, though we have been unable to identify the model (the head looks much like the Capitoline Venus).

The drawings as of today identified by Rafaello Vanni are mainly pen and brown ink, sometimes heightened with white wash. In his monumental repertory, Pittori senesi del Seicento, Sienna 2010, Marco Ciampolini reproduces a red chalk drawing from Amsterdam, Saint Catherine sustained by an angel and a nun (Historisch Museum, A-18079, vol.III, tav.521). By its monumental style, our drawing announces the Sybils frescoed in Santa Marta (1622) and San Sebastiano in Vallepiatta (contrada della Selva) in Sienna. We are grateful to Marco Ciampolini for his e-mail dated 28/02/2018: « per me potrebbe davvero essere un disegno di Raffaello Vanni, quando in gioventù studiava i classici antichi nella bottega di Antonio Carracci ».

PESARO - CIRCA 1568 - ? - 1625 ou 1636

Bodycolor and gold on vellum

Height: 16,6 cm
Length : 13 cm

Valerio Mariani « da Pesaro », as the documents call him, worked for the Urbino Duke Francesco Maria II della Rovere (1552-1631) from 1603, and probably until 1618. Before, he worked in Torino for the Duke of Savoy, and in 1620 wrote a treatise on the technique of miniature-painting.

In 1631, the Urbino Duke died without heirs, and the duchy became part of the Church estates. The rich library, containing works by Mariani, was sent to Rome in 1657. It is the in the Vatican library that the Vita di Federico da Montefeltro, Il Cortegiano and Il Paradiso illustrated by mariani are kept. Other works by him are in Florence (Uffizi, Pitti) where they probably arrived in 1623 with Vittoria della Rovere.