Jean-Baptiste WICAR (Lille 1762 - Rome 1834)
A Sculpture of a Draped Woman, after the Antique
Signed Wicar del and numbered or dated 17- [cut-off] at the lower right.
Inscribed Albâtre, Femme Drapée, and albâtre in the lower margin.
Faintly inscribed in pencil in the lower margin.
280 x 125 mm. (11 x 4 7/8 in.)
Jean-Baptiste Wicar’s best-known work of his first lengthy Italian sojourn came in his role as the principal draughtsman for the 'Tableaux, statues, bas-reliefs et camées de la Galerie de Florence et du Palais Pitti', also known as 'La Galerie de Florence'. Published in Paris between 1789 and 1807, the 'Galerie de Florence' was made up of four lavish volumes of engravings based on Wicar’s drawn copies of painting, sculptures and cameos in the celebrated collections of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and kept in the Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti in Florence.
In both style and content, the present sheet greatly resembles the refined and highly detailed chalk drawings that Wicar executed for 'La Galerie de Florence'. The sculpture here depicted is likely one of Urania, the muse of astronomy. The gestures of the figure, one hand upturned holding a sphere and the other pointed down, are closely aligned with those of traditional depictions of Urania.