Busiri, Giovanni Battista

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Busiri, Giovanni Battista
Classical Landscape with Pyramid, Architecture
Pen and brown ink on laid paper.
6 3/4 x 9 inches (172 x 228 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

Giovanni Battista Busiri was a distinguished painter of perspectival and architectural vedute of Rome and its surroundings. His finest paintings, often executed in tempera, were acquired by English and Scottish tourists who passed through Rome on the Grand Tour (Francis W. Hawcroft, "The Cabinet at Felbrigg," The Connoisseur (May 1958), pp. 216-219). Busiri's imaginary and topographical views of Rome were typically executed in pen and brown ink, as in this example in The Morgan Library & Museum. The two most important collections of Busiri's drawings are in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the British Museum, London. The Fitzwilliam Museum's album with 93 studies includes Roman views, along with sketches of Pisa, Siena, Viterbo, Naples, Florence, and Marino (inv. 3963). As in the Morgan sheet, these drawings are characterized by a style that is quick and free, with an abundance of hatching. The Morgan sheet presents four figures on a pathway with an imaginary view of the campagna, which perhaps includes real architectural structures. Compositional elements of the Morgan sheet resemble A Capriccio with the Pyramid of Cestius in the Fitzwilliam Museum (inv. 3693 f.25) and A Capriccio with the Pyramid of Cestius, the Porta di S. Paolo, and the Castel S. Angelo in the British Museum (inv. 1925,0406.27). All of these drawings are undated, but a comparison of the sheets with a signed tempera painting also featuring the pyramid of Cestius in the collection of Marchesa V.L., Rome, suggests a date in the mid-eighteenth century (Andrea Busiri Vici, Giovanni Battista Busiri, Vedutista romano del'700. Roma, 1966, no. 49, p. 84).


Inscribed on verso at lower left in pen and brown ink, "53".

Joseph F. McCrindle, New York (McCrindle collection no. B0025).
Associated names: 

McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.