Atalanta and Hippomene
24.4 cm x 25 cm (9 5/8 in. x 9 13/16 in.)
(1746 - 1829)
Medium and Support:
Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash, watercolor, and white heightening
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund, 2003
This sheet and its companion were designs for frescoes or possibly stucco reliefs, probably as part of the decoration of a Genoese palace. With general economic decline in the early 19th-century, the city’s noble patronage began to disappear and major commissions became very scarce. Tagliafichi was one of the last to persist in the tradition of grand secular decoration as well as altarpieces. While grounded in Neoclassicism, his style hearkened back to the great age of such decoration, to Gregorio De Ferrari in particular, in turn to its constant source in the painting of Correggio. These studies demonstrate his eclecticism, and considerable refinement, at the height of his activity in the late teens. Drawings by Tagliafichi are rare. These, signed by the artist and inscribed by Santo Varni, the greatest collector of Genoese drawings in the 19th century, are touchstones of his draftsmanship, thus a fitting postscript to the Genoese holdings of the Suida-Manning Collection.