Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Study for Saint Francis. Verso: Study for the Drapery of an Angel
ca. 1767
Red and white chalk on light brown laid paper.
4 3/16 x 10 5/8 inches (362 x 270 mm)
Purchased on the Fairfax Murray Society Fund.

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Armand-Louis François de Mestral de Saint-Saphorin (1738-1806), Vienna; by descent; Nathan Chaikin, New York and Vaud, Switzerland; with Otto Wertheimer (1896-1972), Paris; Private collection; Artcurial, Paris, 27 March 2019, lot 219 (bought in); Christie's, New York, 28 January 2021, lot 18.

G. Knox, 'Tiepolo Drawings from the Saint-Saphorin Collection', in Atti del Congresso internazionale di studi sul Tiepolo, Udine, 1970, p. 66; G. Knox, Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo. A Study and Catalogue Raisonné of the Chalk Drawings, Oxford, 1980, no. K12.


The recto of this sheet is a careful study for the drapery of St. Francis in Tiepolo's St. Francis receiving the Stigmata, commissioned in 1767 for the Franciscan monastery of S. Pascual Baylon, built ca. 1765-67 under the patronage of King Charles III in the royal town of Aranjuez, south of Madrid. The painting is now in the collection of the Museo del Prado, Madrid; a preparatory modello for the work is in the Courtauld Institute Gallery, London. The verso is a study for the drapery covering the upper torso and arms of the angel in the altarpiece of The Vision of S. Pascual Baylon, the high altar for the same church. Two fragments of the altarpiece (which was replaced by a painting by Mengs) survive in the collection of the Museo del Prado, although the drawn study of the drapery corresponds more closely to the modello, also in the Courtauld, than to the final painting. The altarpieces were commissioned in March 1767 and the modelli were shown to the king in late August 1767; the drawings thus presumably date to mid-1767 as well.

Associated names: 

Saint-Saphorin, Armand-François-Louis de Mestral de, 1738-1805, former owner.
Chaīkin, Nathan, former owner.
Wertheimer, Otto, 1896-1973, former owner.