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Flying Angel

circa 1700s
17th century
40.1 cm x 30.6 cm (15 13/16 in. x 12 1/16 in.)

Gregorio De Ferrari (Porto Maurizio, 1647 - 1726, Genoa) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash over black chalk on cream antique laid paper, squared twice in black chalk
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1076

The counterpart to Piola’s predictable elegance in late-century Genoa, Gregorio offered a practically expressionistic interpretation of the same basic language. Descended from the lyrical, subjectively inclined Genoese of mid-century, and deeply informed by the study of Correggio, Gregorio’s compositions twist in ceaseless gyres, his figures distend and deform in ecstatic response, and his color goes iridescent before dissolving into a white light. This is an excellent example of his draftsmanship and style in general. The figure has been connected with several paintings of the early 1690s, but the sheet’s more controlled contours, short hatching, and broad wash are typical of his later drawings, and the most similar figure appears reversed in an altarpiece of the early 1700s, the Vision of Saint Isidore Agricola in the church of San Bernardo at Moltedo.

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