(Bedano 1742 - Milan 1839)
Design for a Decorative Wall Panel
1015 x 468 mm. (40 x 18 3/8 in.)
The combination of paired deers and hares in this very large watercolour, which is almost certainly to be dated to Albertolli’s Lombard period, would suggest that it may have been intended for a decoration in a hunting lodge. The drawing is stylistically and thematically similar to the first plate in Albertolli’s Ornamenti diversi inventati e disegnati da Giacondo Albertolli professore di ornate nella Reale Accademia di Belle Arti in Milano; a collection of engravings after the artist’s stucco designs, published in 1782.
As the decorative arts scholar Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios has observed, ‘That Albertolli worked with meticulous care on every single detail will be clear to anyone who has examined [his] drawing and prints…Coming half-way between Piranesi and Percier and Fontaine, Giocondo Albertolli was not inferior to the best ornamenters of neo-classicism…He knew how to create new models, which although they re-echo forms beloved by the ancients, were neither slavish archeological exercises nor, as happened to other Italian ornamenters of the period…did he let himself be carried away excessively by the sixteenth-century classicism, though he too loved and understood it.’