Giuseppe Bernardino BISON (Palmanova 1762 - Milan 1844)

A Capriccio Landscape with Classical Buildings Sold

Pen and brown ink, with brown, green and grey washes, over a black chalk underdrawing, with framing lines in pencil.
A sketch of a female (mythological?) figure in brown ink, over an underdrawing in black chalk, on the verso.
Signed Bison at the lower right.
127 x 154 mm. (5 x 6 in.)



As a draughtsman, Bison’s preferred medium was pen and ink, applied in a fluid manner and usually combined with rich tonal washes, of which this drawing is a particularly fine example. Like many of Bison’s drawings, the present sheet is unrelated to any known painting or fresco by the artist, and may have been executed as an autonomous work of art.

Classical architecture, pyramids, monuments and equestrian statues appear frequently in Bison’s drawings. Similar motifs appear, for example, in a number of drawings in the collection of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, part of a large group of studies by the artist in that collection. Also comparable to the present sheet is a drawing of an architectural capriccio in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, as well as another in an album of Bison drawings in the Fondazione Scaramangà di Altomonte in Trieste.

The spirited sketch of a woman on the verso of the present sheet is also typical of the artist’s drawn oeuvre, and may be compared with such drawings as another sheet in the Castello Sforzesco.

An unidentified collector’s mark very faintly stamped in red ink at the lower right
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 14 January 1989, lot 346
P. & D. Colnaghi, London, in 1989.

William Breazeale et al., A Pioneering Collection: Master Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum, exhibition catalogue, Sacramento and Poughkeepsie, 2010-2011, pp.52-54, no.14.

Giuseppe Bernardino BISON

A Capriccio Landscape with Classical Buildings


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