Studies of a Wolf Hunt (recto); Studies of Wolf and Stag Hunts (verso)
19.2 cm x 26.5 cm (7 9/16 in. x 10 7/16 in.)
Stefano Della Bella
(Florence, Italy, 1610 - 1664, Florence, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Recto: pen and brown ink with brush and gray wash over graphite; Verso: pen and
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Della Bella was a remarkably prolific etcher and draftsman in just this light, densely worked, and rather automatic hand. Succeeding Jacques Callot as the official printmaker to the Medici, della Bella maintained the range and character of his subject matter, principally court life, everyday events, and familiar settings. But his graphic style is distinct, inspired initially by the etchings of Claude Lorrain, then by the drawings of Pietro da Cortona, so that at least its formal aspects pertain to the High Baroque. This is a delightful example of della Bella’s late style, corresponding in subject and format to a series of hunts that he etched around 1654, although not directly related to any. The drawing’s verso includes two minutely varied studies for the horseman, typical of a working method no less refined than his hand.