Domenico CAMPAGNOLA

(Venice c.1500 - Padua 1564)

Landscape with a Mill

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Pen and brown ink. 
413 x 280 mm. (16 1/4 x 11 in.)
This drawing is attributed, on stylistic grounds, to an artist in the circle of Domenico Campagnola. Probably born in Venice of German parents, Campagnola was taken as an apprentice (and probably adopted) at about the age of ten by the engraver Giulio Campagnola. Like his master, Domenico worked primarily as an engraver and designer of woodcuts. He seems to have been a precocious artist, as at least ten engravings signed and dated 1517 are known; indeed, almost all of his dated prints were executed in that year. After Giulio’s death in 1516, Domenico became the leading engraver in Venice before moving to Padua in around 1520. He was also a gifted draughtsman, and is perhaps best known for his landscape views which were often sold as finished, independent works of art. His figural drawings, however, are less well known. Campagnola’s drawing style is at times quite close to, and was certainly strongly influenced by, that of Titian, and the drawings of the two artists have long been confused. Although known today primarily as an engraver and draughtsman, Campagnola was also active as a mural painter, mainly in and around Padua. In 1531 he received a commission to paint the ceiling of the Oratory of the Confraternity of Santa Maria del Parto in Padua, much of which is now lost or destroyed.

As a landscape draughtsman, Domenico Campagnola was much influenced by Titian’s designs for landscape woodcuts, as well as the prints produced by Northern artists. As the scholar Catherine Jenkins has noted, ‘By the 1550s, landscape was an established theme in Venetian art…Domenico Campagnola played a crucial role in the development of the genre in the medium of drawing, executing numerous panoramic landscapes filled with rustic buildings, bodies of water, and craggy mountains, which were appreciated in equal measure for the dexterity of their penmanship and their beautiful subject matter. As the years progressed and the influence of Netherlandish art was increasingly felt in the region, the views depicted by Domenico Campagnola and his contemporaries became more expansive and the presence of dramatic ruins ever more pervasive. These highly finished drawings, listed in inventories as “landscapes in pen” (“paesi a penna”), were avidly sought by collectors.’
 
Probably born in Venice of German parents, Domenico Campagnola was taken as an apprentice (and probably adopted) at about the age of ten by the engraver Giulio Campagnola. Like his master, Domenico worked primarily as an engraver and designer of woodcuts. He seems to have been a precocious artist, as at least ten engravings signed and dated 1517 are known; indeed, almost all of his dated prints were executed in that year. After Giulio’s death in 1516, Domenico became the leading engraver in Venice before moving to Padua in around 1520. He was also a gifted draughtsman, and is perhaps best known for his landscape views which were often sold as finished, independent works of art. His figural drawings, however, are less well known. Campagnola’s drawing style is at times quite close to, and was certainly strongly influenced by, that of Titian, and the work of the two artists has often been confused. Although known today primarily as an engraver and draughtsman, Campagnola was also active as a painter. In 1531 he received a commission to paint the ceiling of the Oratory of the Confraternity of Santa Maria del Parto in Padua, much of which is now lost or destroyed.

Provenance

Mathias Komor, New York (Lugt 1882a), his mark on the old backing sheet
P. & D. Colnaghi, London
Private collection, Middlesex
Thence by descent.

 

Domenico CAMPAGNOLA

Landscape with a Mill