Ten Commandments, London, December 3, 1730

Matthias Buchinger German

Not on view

The largest and most ornate of Buchinger’s Ten Commandments framed by architectural elements, this sheet is part of a group of extraordinary drawings the artist executed in Scotland and England in about 1730. Buchinger was by then already known as “The Greatest German Living.” This outsized demonstration piece cannot be tied to a patron and may have served, as Ricky Jay speculates, as an exemplar of Buchinger’s artistry to be kept in his stall when he was performing in public spaces. The magnificent calligraphic micrography, visible in the roundels between the tablet of Moses, the decorated initials, and the architectural ornament, exemplifies his artistic practice.

Ten Commandments, London, December 3, 1730, Matthias Buchinger (German, Ansbach 1674–1739), Pen and ink on vellum

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