Standing and Seated Figures in a Landscape with an Obelisk
Giovanni Battista Pittoni the Elder Italian
Not on view
The drawing was listed by A.E. Popham as a work of an anonymous Venetian draftsman of the Sixteenth Century in the John B. Skippe collection catalogue of 1958 (Christie's, November 20-21, 1958, lot. 263B). The attribution was corrected to 'Circle of Nicolò dell'Abate' by Harry G. Sperling, who acquired the drawing during the Skippe sale and eventually donated the sheet to the Metropolitan Museum in 1975 (a hand-written annotation with this attribution remains on Sperling's own copy of the Skippe's catalogue in the Department of Drawings and Prints, MMA). Françoise Viatte in January of 1980 (written correspondance to Jacob Bean) recognized this drawing as a characteristic example of the work of Giovanni Battista Pittoni, a Veronese specialist in fantastic landscapes with Roman ruins. Pittoni's sprightly personality as a draughtsman has been defined in relation to his documented prints, and indeed drawings in the Witt Collection, London, the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, and the collection of Emile Wolf, New York, are preparatory studies for engraved landscapes. Alessandro Ballarin supplied a brief summary of Pittoni's work as a draughman in his article published on "Arte Veneta" (vol. 25,1971, pp. 104-05). (F.R.)
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