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Adoration of the Shepherds

circa 1704
17th century
24 cm x 30.7 cm (9 7/16 in. x 12 1/16 in.)

Antonio Balestra (Verona, Italy, 1666 - 1740, Verona, Italy) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Pen and brown ink with brush and brown and gray washes and white heightening over traces of black chalk on beige antique laid paper, laid down
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.888

Balestra was formed in the academic Baroque tradition of Carlo Maratta, but infused this drier, more formulaic style with the richer color, mobile light, and fluid handling of his own native Venetian tradition. In its sound organization but loose elaboration, this drawing suggests his synthesis. In subject, the central motif, and the artist’s development, it is closely related to a painting executed in 1704 for the church of San Zaccaria, Venice.

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