Pelagio PALAGI (Bologna 1775 - Turin 1860)
The Education of Bacchus
Black chalk over traces of an underdrawing in red chalk, heightened with touches of gold.
Laid down on a 19th century mount, with framing lines in black ink.
Numbered No. / 68 and 83 on a label at the upper right of the old mount.
172 x 229 mm. (6 3/4 x 9 in.) [image]
As has been noted, Pelagio Palagi ‘demonstrated extraordinary facility as an expressive draftsman’, and the present sheet is a splendid example of his refined Neoclassical technique. Among stylistically comparable chalk drawings by Palagi are a Hylas and the Nymphs in a private collection, which is a study for a painting of c.1810-1811 in a private collection in Florence, and a Virgin and Child with the Infant Saint John, also in a private collection. A signed drawing of The Birth of Cupid that appeared at auction in Italy in 1996 is likewise very similar to the present sheet.
Comparisons may also be made with a lithograph by Palagi of a Sleeping Cupid, while a similar subject is found in a large etching of The Education of Cupid by Mauro Gandolfi, which reproduces a much smaller circular painting by Palagi of 1820-1821.
Nicolaas Teeuwisse, Berlin.