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Old Master Drawings 17th-18th c. Italian

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Drapery Study for a Female Figure with Her Arm Raised

circa 1735-38
18th century
33.4 cm x 24.5 cm (13 1/8 in. x 9 5/8 in.)

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (Venice, Italy, 1682 - 1754, Venice, Italy) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Recto: Black and white chalks on blue antique laid paper, faded to gray-green; Verso: Head of San Francesco di Paola, in black chalk
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1292

According to the Bolognese practice appropriated by Piazzetta, the attitude and drapery of each figure in a painting would be carefully developed through chalk studies. This is an excellent example of this stage in the artist’s preparatory process. Distinctive to Piazzetta’s interpretation, these elements were no sooner established than taken in a painterly direction, with their tonality differentiated and light accelerated by a splintering of line, stumping of black chalk, and dashing with white. Recently identified, this study has been connected with the protagonist in the Judith and Holofernes in the Scuola del Carmine, Venice. While there are some discrepancies, the general posture and suggestion of dramatic motion do correspond. A subsequent stage in Piazzetta’s preparatory process at around the same date can be seen in the Collection’s oil sketch for his altarpiece at Cortona

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