Pietro Antonio Novelli

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Pietro Antonio Novelli
Bacchante with Infant Satyrs
Pen and brown ink on paper.
15 3/8 x 9 7/8 inches (391 x 251 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
IV, 153

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The virtuosic penwork of this drawing is characteristic of sheets by Novelli, who studied with Gaspare Diziani and was one of the leading painters and illustrators in Venice at the end of the eighteenth century. The neat calligraphy of the inscription, Pierantonio Novelli Veneziano, is identical to that on more than a hundred other drawings that presumably belonged to the same anonymous collector, known to modern scholars as "the Reliable Venetian Hand" on account of the accuracy of his attributions. --Exhibition Label, from "Tiepolo, Guardi, and Their World: Eighteenth-Century Venetian Drawings"

"Reliable Venetian Hand" (see Lugt S. 3005c-d); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.
Associated names: 

Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.


Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, IV, 153, repr.