Stefano Della Bella

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Stefano Della Bella
A Feast at the Cascine, Florence
Watercolor with gum glaze, pen and brown ink, with gold and silver paint, and white opaque watercolor, over black chalk, on two joined sheets of paper.
10 7/8 x 31 1/2 inches (276 x 799 mm)
Thaw Collection.

The scene recorded by the talented Florentine draftsman and printmaker Stefano della Bella presumably took place at the Parco delle Cascine in Florence, a large recreational park along the banks of the Arno built by the Medici at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The figures in this impressive and brightly colored drawing can be seen eating, drinking, playing cards, and, in the middle distance, playing a croquet-like game called pall-mall. Stefano made most of his drawings in preparation for prints, but the unusual format and high finish of this sheet--including highlights in gold and silver paint--suggest that he conceived it as an independent work. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"


Signed and dated in pen and brown ink, "SDB/1630".
Watermark: none.

Carlo Lotteringhi della Stufa, Florence; Bob P. Haboldt & Co., New York and Paris; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.
Associated names: 

Lotteringhi della Stufa, Carlo, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.


The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 9, repr.
The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and Oil Sketches : Acquisitions since 1994. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 2002, no. 3, repr.
Mostra della pittua italiana del seicento e settecento. Florence: Palazzo Pitti, 1922, no. 371.
Nugent, Margherita. Alla mostra della pittura italiana del '600 e '700 note e impressioni. 2 vols. San Casciano, 1925-30, vol. 2, pp. 313-4, repr.
Mostra del giardino italiano. Florence: Palazzo Vecchio, 1931, no. 11.
Gregori, Mina. 70 puitture e sculture del '600 e '700 fiorentino. (exh. cat.) Florence: Palazzo Strozzi, 1965, p. 48, no. 15, repr.
Viatte, Françoise. Inventaire général des dessins italiens. II. Dessins de Stefano della Bella. Paris, 1974, p. 9.
Fifty Paintings by Old Masters. New York and Paris: Bob P. Haboldt & Co., 1995, no. 7, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. From Mantegna to Picasso: Drawings from the Thaw Collection at The Pierpont Morgan Library. London: Royal Academy of Arts; New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, 1996, pp. 38-39, no. 19, repr. in color (entry by William M. Griswold).
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. München : Hirmer, 2008, no. 27, repr. [William M. Griswold]
Rinaldi, Stefano. Early Genre Scenes in Pen on Vellum by Stefano della Bella. Master Drawings, v. 60, no. 3, p. 343-54, repr.

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