The Prophetess Deborah
21.1 cm x 24.1 cm (8 5/16 in. x 9 1/2 in.)
(Molfetta (Bari), Italy, 1703 - 1765, Naples)
Medium and Support:
Black chalk with white heightening
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of Christie's, Australia, 2003
This is the preliminary study for the fresco decoration of a pendentive, one of the four curved sections supporting a dome. Although the specific destination has not yet been identified, Giaquinto was responsible for numerous projects of church decoration in the areas of his native Naples and Rome, where he long worked (1723-53). A pupil of Francesco Solimena, the dominant figure of the late Baroque at Naples, Giaquinto relaxed and lightened his master’s grandiloquent style. Imposing in form but graceful in articulation and engaging, almost charming, in personality, this is a typical drawing of the artist’s maturity. Such autograph drawings are relatively uncommon. The Suida-Manning Collection includes a minor painting by Giaquinto and a finished study for an altarpiece by an artist in his circle.