A DISTANT VIEW OF A CITY FROM A ROAD ALONGSIDE THE BANK OF A RIVER
Pen & brown ink on laid paper, laid to support
Sheet: 20.5 x 25 cm
The Rev. Dr. Henry Wellesley, Oxford (1791-1866) [L.1384];
His sale, Sotheby's, London, 25 June - 10 July 1866, 6th day of sale, part of lot 954, (as A Portfolio with leaves, containing 105 drawings in Pen and Sepia, Views in Tuscany, by Jacopo Ligozz) (£1.15s. to Noseda);
[Likely Jane Noseda, a print dealer in the Strand]
Sir David Kelly (1891-1959), Inch (Ireland);
His sale, Hodgson's, London, 26 November 1954, part of lot 596
(As Original Sepia and Wash Drawings of Scenery, Antiquities, Buildings etc. of Tuscany by Jacopo Ligozzi, Remigio Cantagallina and others);
Where acquired by Hans Calmann, London;
Anonymous Sale, Christie's, London, 26.11.1974, Lot 269;
Anonymous Sale, Sotheby's, 07.12.1978, Lot 61;
Private Collection, London;
Anonymous Sale, Forum Auctions, London, 25.03.2021, Lot 236 (as Ercole Bazzicaluva)
Stefano Rinaldi, Cesare Antoniacci: Landscapist and Engineer from the School of Giulio Parigi, in Master Drawings, No.56, Vol. 3 (2018), p.347, repr. fig. 21
[As Circle of Giulio Parigi]
[Op. cit. for all quotations below]
Dr Rinaldi has now assessed high-resolution photographs of the present work, following the publication of the drawing before it appeared on the art market in London last year. His attribution remains the same.
The present work is referred to by Stefano Rinaldi in his essay on the artist Cesare Antoniacci, wherein Dr Rinaldi noted, "One landscape drawing that is a simplified version of Antoniacci's 1609 etching (whereabouts unknown; [illustrated] Fig. 21) reveals a deep connection with his work. Without first-hand study of the original, it is not possible to reach any firm conclusion about its authorship..."
Cesare Antoniacci, whose dates of birth & death remain unknown, was born in Assisi (or nearby) and grew up in that city. He was employed in the service of the Medici by the end of the sixteenth century, and presumably began his studies under the Florentine engineer and artist Giulio Parigi shortly thereafter. He is recorded as living in Parigi's home in 1606, suggesting an actual apprenticeship as opposed to mere attendance at Parigi's informal academia, after which he worked for the Medici as an engineer and cartographer. His work as an engineer in Tuscany finished in 1620 and he appears the following year in Munich as a military engineer in the service of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria. He remained in Munich until 1633, during which time he assisted in the construction of the new city walls among other projects, according to the Elector's wishes.
Antoniacci has been described by Dr Rinaldi as "one of the most interesting figures to have come out of the Tuscan engineering school of Giulio Parigi during the early seventeenth century"; and it is thanks to Dr Rinaldi himself that we now know Antoniacci as a topographical draughtsman in his own right. Antoniacci's hand, as one would expect from the above career, was indebted to his teacher Parigi. The most notable differences are "the more regular, orderly draftsmanship and the greater adherence to Flemish prototypes" (of the latter, Paul Bril above all others). Comparing Antoniacci to later followers of Parigi such as Bazzicaluva (by whose hand the present work was thought to be, when last offered publicly) and Alfonso Parigi, Dr Rinaldi notes that "...the landscapes of Antoniacci show a far more direct dependence on Flemish models."