Carlo Galli Bibiena

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Carlo Galli Bibiena
A Colonnaded Stage
ca. 1750
Pen and brown and black ink, and gray wash, on paper.
10 7/8 x 15 5/8 inches (277 x 397 mm)
Promised gift of Jules Fisher.

"2 Ld" in graphite in upper right corner of verso and "97617-8" in graphite along lower left edge of verso.
Watermark: Strasbourg lily on lining.

Purchased from Kolkes Auctions, Zurich, 18 September 2009, lot 3425; Jules Fisher collection (Fisher Number: JF-044).

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Architecture, Theater, and Fantasy: Bibena Drawings from the Jules Fisher Collection", 2021. Exh. cat., no. 26, repr.


This drawing by Carlo Bibiena dates to early in his career, perhaps to around 1750 when he was assisting his father, Giuseppe, at the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth. The architectural structure exemplifies Carlo's formal, restrained draftsmanship; unusually, however, work continued on the sheet even after the highly finished framework was complete. Festoons were added atop the proscenium and columns, and ghostly scrolls were sketched on some of the plinths at left. Fragments of paper attached to the column plinths at right show disembodied hooves or feet, indicating some additional decoration that was glued to the surface but later removed and lost.

Associated names: 

Fisher, Jules, owner.

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