Francesco Fontebasso

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Francesco Fontebasso
Bear Hunt. Verso: Studies of a Man
Brush and brown ink with brown wash and opaque white on brown laid paper; verso: black chalk.
10 1/16 x 15 1/4 inches (256 x 388 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

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Joseph F. McCrindle, New York (McCrindle collection no. A0391).

Though Francesco Fontebasso studied under Sebastiano Ricci, he emulated another Venetian artist, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, more faithfully in his compositions and color strategies. Fontebasso was a celebrated painter, draftsman, and book illustrator who became head of the Venetian Academy a year before his death.
The recto of the present sheet depicts the seconds before a presumed combat between a dog, whose minder appears in the distance, and a bear. White highlighting, delicately applied, animates the figure and animals, simultaneously giving atmosphere to the landscape.
On the sheet's verso Fontebasso drew three finished portraits of the same bearded sitter. A portrait of a young boy, in the same hand, is situated at the lower right.

Associated names: 

McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.

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