Giuseppe Galli Bibiena

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Giuseppe Galli Bibiena
The Interior/Exterior of a Palatial Auditorium. Verso: Side View of a Palace Façade
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over graphite, on three sheets of overlapping paper; top sheet hinged separately.
13 9/16 x 7 9/16 inches (345 x 193 mm)
Gift of Mrs. Donald M. Oenslager, 1982.

This drawing comes from an album given to the artist Giuseppe Gibelli, upon graduation from the Brera Academy in Milan in 1884, by Luigi Bisi (1814-1886), President of the Academy, for excellence in his work as a student. Gibelli, who came to America, executed mural decorations in some of the Atlantic City hotels. He died in 1932, and the album passed to his grandson, Robert A. Baldini. It was then sold to Richard Wunder and thereafter dispersed. A related drawing from the same album is in the collection of Jules Fisher (see Kelder 1968, cats. 1 and 2).
The drawing constitutes a double overlay. Two parts of the exterior lift up to reveal the interior of the scene. The drawing is very similar in style and system of numbers and initials to many of the drawings included in the Bibiena Album in the National Library of Vienna. Oenslager attributed the drawing to Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, the attribution under which it has been kept at the Morgan since 1982, but Kelder 1968, cat. 2, attributes both it and the Fisher collection drawing to Ferdinando Galli Bibiena, comparing them to the Ferdinando drawings at the Accademia di San Luca, Rome.


Inscribed on verso at lower right, in pen and brown ink, "1696"; various sketches and design notes on verso of other two sheets, in pen and brown ink.

Brera Academy, Milan; Giuseppe Gibelli; his grandson Robert A. Baldini; Richard P. Wunder, Washington, D.C.; from whom acquired in 1964 by Donald M. Oenslager, New York.
Associated names: 

Gibelli, Giuseppe, former owner.
Baldini, Robert A., former owner.
Wunder, Richard P., former owner.
Oenslager, Donald, 1902-1975, former owner.