Giovanni Battista Piranesi

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi
1720-1778
Three Masks Drawn over Sketch of a Sandaled Foot
1777-1778
Pen and brown ink, black chalk, on paper.
7 7/8 x 10 1/8 inches (201 x 258 mm)
Bequest of Junius S. Morgan and gift of Henry S. Morgan.
1966.11:44

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Inscription: 

Numbered at lower left, in graphite, "76".

Provenance: 
Mrs. J.P. Morgan, New York; by descent to her sons Junius S. Morgan, Princeton and Paris (no mark, see Lugt 1536) and Henry S. Morgan, New York.
Bibliography: 

Stampfle, Felice. Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Dover, 1978, no. 44, repr.

Notes: 

On same mat as 1966.11:45.
Together with 1966.11:43 and 45, these studies, drawn in Piranesi's late style, also date from his time in Pompeii near the end of his life. The masks are details from the tomb of the Istacidi family, located outside the city's Herculaneum Gate. Some are shown in situ in another of Piranesi's views, a sheet now in Copenhagen. Typical of Piranesi's frugal reuse of paper, the study of three masks is drawn over an assistant's sketch of a sandaled foot.

Associated names: 

Morgan, Jane Norton, 1868-1925, former owner.
Morgan, Junius Spencer, 1892-1960, former owner.
Morgan, Henry S. (Henry Sturgis), 1900-1982, former owner.

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