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Holy Family

1740s
18th century
29.3 cm x 21.6 cm (11 9/16 in. x 8 1/2 in.)

Francesco Fontebasso (Venice, Italy, 1707 - 1769, Venice, Italy) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Pen and iron gall ink on cream antique laid paper
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1120

Fontebasso was, with Gaspare Diziani, the most interesting of the secondary masters in 18th-century Venice. His style was based upon Sebastiano Ricci’s extroverted color and drama, but simplified in design, infused with a more textured realism gathered from early experiences in Rome and Bologna, and touched by the lighter palette of Tiepolo. Monumental in construction yet charming and vibrant, with its trademark hatching recalling Fontebasso’s significant activity as an etcher, this is one of his finest drawings.

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