Franz Anton MAULBERTSCH (Langenargen 1724 - Vienna 1796)

The Assumption of the Virgin Sold

Pen and brown ink and grey wash, with touches of brown, pink and blue washes, over traces of an underdrawing in black chalk, heightened with white, on paper washed ochre.
The sheet trimmed to an octagonal shape, with a made up section at the lower left.
Faintly inscribed himelfart at the lower right.
283 x 212 mm. (11 1/8 x 8 3/8 in.) [sheet]


Franz Anton Maulbertsch treated the subject of TheAssumption of the Virgin numerous times throughout his peripatetic career. This drawing may be an early idea for a ceiling fresco of the subject in a chapel of the parish church of Pápa in Hungary. Commissioned in 1781 by the Bishop of Eger, Károly von Esterházy, the Pápa fresco was completed by 1783. While the drawing differs considerably from the Pápa fresco, which is painted in an oval, the general disposition of the figures within the composition is similar. 

The figures of the Virgin and the angel supporting her in the present sheet are also recalled in an earlier ceiling fresco of The Assumption of the Virgin, painted by Maulbertsch in 1767 for the Carmelite church at Székesfehérvár in Hungary. 

Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 19 April 1994, lot 185
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 10 July 2002, lot 202
Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd., London
Private collection, London.


The Assumption of the Virgin


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