Personification of Astrology
19.7 cm x 15.6 cm (7 3/4 in. x 6 1/8 in.)
(1734 - 1802)
Medium and Support:
Pen and brown ink with bursh and brown wash and watercolor over traces of graphite on cream antique laid paper, laid down
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
In both their painting and prodigious graphic activity, the Gandolfi were the last significant masters of the Bolognese academic tradition. Gaetano was the central figure, outstanding in any conventional sense but also responsive to contemporary Venetian art and self-consciously flexible in style according to the work’s context and stage of development. As part of an elaborate preparatory process or as extravagant autonomous works, his drawings are characterized by ample volume and rich tonality, but also great movement from a calligraphic line descended from Guercino and a mobile light appropriated from the Tiepolo. Appealingly finished and signed, this drawing was created for presentation, no doubt to one of Gaetano’s many enthusiastic patrons. Reinterpreted with even greater delicacy and an ornamental surround in another drawing (Metropolitan Museum) by his son, Mauro, this same motif would become part part of the decoration of a carriage.