Pluto, Proserpina, and Charon by the River Styx
Black chalk with stumping.
13 3/8 x 15 5/8 inches (340 x 397 mm)
Bequest of Seymour Askin.
Sotheby's, London, 25 March 1982, lot 51; Duke Roberto Ferretti, Montreal; Christie's, New York, 13 January 1993, lot 71; Seymour Askin.
Gaetano Gandolfi was arguably the last great artist in the Bolognese Baroque tradition, responsible for frescoes and altarpieces in Bolognese churches, secular frescoes and cabinet pictures, prints, and sculptures. He was also a distinguished draftsman. This compositional drawing, showing Pluto about to guide Proserpina onto the ferry across the River Styx, does not correspond to a painting, but its notably large size and high degree of finish-the chalk carefully stumped and blended to create a rich range of tones-suggest that it may have been an autonomous work.
Ferretti, Roberto, former owner.
Askin, Seymour, former owner.