Giovanni (Nino) Costa (Rome 1826 - Rome 1903)
Study of a Tree, with a Young Boy Sold
Watercolour, over traces of an underdrawing in pencil.399 x 275 mm. (15 3/4 x 10 7/8 in.)ACQUIRED BY THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON, DC.ENQUIRE
Many of Nino Costa’s earliest extant drawings are studies of trees and plants, and he seems to have drawn from nature from a young age. As he once described his approach to landscape painting to the painter Giovanni Fattori, whose work was profoundly influenced by that of Costa: ‘First do a bozzetto di impressione from nature as rapidly as possible; then do studies of details from nature. Finally, sketch out the picture [abbozzare il quadro], remaining attached to the conception of the bozzetto, never taking your eyes off that eternal bozzetto.’A closely related drawing of a tree, of comparable dimensions and sharing the same provenance as the present sheet, was recently acquired by the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. A similar pencil drawing of a tree trunk, an early work datable to before 1860, was in a private collection in 1972.
By descent in the family of the artist until c.2005Paolo Antonacci, RomeNicolaas Teeuwisse, BerlinW/S Fine Art, London.