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Design for a Ceiling: Venice Receiving Homage

Artist:
Gaspare Diziani (Italian, Belluno 1689–1767 Venice)
Date:
1755–60
Medium:
Pen and black ink, brush and gray-green and blue-gray wash, over black chalk
Dimensions:
11 7/8 x 8 1/16in. (30.2 x 20.5cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
62.121.2
Not on view
This dynamic composition, drawn in pen and ink and grey wash, has many points in common with the "Glorification of the Widmann Family", frescoed by Diziani on the ceiling of Palazzo Widmann, Venice, about 1755-1760. Banners and other military paraphernalia occur in this work, as do allegorical figures of Justice, Prudence, and Fame; putti support a tray of scrolls, and Time holds an empty shield flanked by an eagle, which may be emblematic of the Carinthian origins of the Widmann family. However, in the upper part of the fresco a winged figure crowns a representative of the family, while in the drawing a figure kneels before a personification of Venice.

A group of stylistically coherent drawings by Diziani can be compared to the Museum’s project for Palazzo Widmann: a pen sketch for the lower part of the present composition, with a few variations, is in the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen and bears an old annotation, "coregio" (inv. no. Tu ital mag. vol. 6, 34). A second drawing in the Museum's collection (inv. 2009.31.5), acquired in 2009 from the late Joseph McCrindle, comes very close to the Palazzo Widmann ceiling project; while a study for the upper part of the composition is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Ward-Jackson 1980, no. 1001, repr.).

The sheet is annotated in the "Reliable Venetian Hand": The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns four other drawings with attributions by the "Reliable Venetian Hand" (see acc. nos. 66.53.4, 61.204, 66.53.6, 1989.172), all of them considered to be correct. These annotations, in neat, slanting letters, giving the artist's name and place of origin, are the work of a still-unidentified Venetian collector of the eighteenth century of taste and exceptional erudition.
Inscription: Annotated in pen and dark brown ink at lower right, "Gasparo Diziani Bellunese."
Faint annotation in graphite on verso, upper left corner "1916"/ [illegible].

Marking: Collector's mark on verso, "IMG" (Lugt 1496).
Anonymous Italian Collector ('Reliable Venetian Hand'); John MacGowan (British, died in 1803, Edinburgh); Henri Baderou
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings from New York Collections. III: The Eighteenth Century in Italy," January 30, 1971–March 21, 1971.

Jacob Bean "Ninety-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1962-1963: Reports of the Departments." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.s. vol. 22, no. 2, New York, October 1963, p. 64.

Alessandro Bettagno Disegni di una collezione veneziana del Settecento Exh. cat., Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice. Venice, 1966, cat. no. 91, ill.

Jacob Bean, Felice Stampfle Drawings from New York Collections, vol. III: Eighteenth Century Italian Drawings. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 1971, cat. no. 54, ill.

Anna Paola Zugni-Tauro Gaspare Diziani. Venice, 1971, fig. no. pl. 353, ill.

Jacob Bean, William M. Griswold 18th Century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1990, cat. no. 38, fig. no. 38, p. 58-59, ill.



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