Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd

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The Art Of Drawing In Italy



The Art of Drawing in Italy


François Keiserman (Yverdon 1765-1833 Rome), Peasants Harvesting Grapes, signed, dated and inscribed ‘F Keiserman. Roma. 1803’, black chalk, pen and brown ink and watercolour, 324 x 444 mm (12 ¾ x 17½ in.),



Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd is delighted to announce the exhibition of The Art of Drawing in Italy, this exhibition will open on 28 June during Master Drawings and Sculpture Week, part of London Art Week.


This thematic exhibition is of particular interest to Crispian Riley-Smith since this includes many areas that are of interest to him since he visited Italy as a student working for Sotheby’s and the Guggenheim Museum in Venice,  and throughout his professional career as an art dealer, and he hopes that this will be of interest to his clients and visitors. This exciting exhibition includes a number of discoveries, including a pair of exquisite watercolours by François Keiserman of Peasants Harvesting Grapes and Fishing. These watercolours, which are both signed, dated and inscribed ‘F Keiserman. Roma. 1803’ and are in excellent condition. Franz Kaisermann, also known by his French name François Keiserman, was born in Yverdon in Switzerland in 1765. After training as a landscape painter he moved to Rome in 1789. He came to the Papal city because of his fellow compatriot Abraham-Louis-Rodolphe Ducros (1748-1810) to assist in the preparation and finishing of the pictures in his studio. Ducros, who had an already established reputation, together with Giovanni Volpato, had a workshop which were supplying the demand for views of Rome from European clients visiting the city. It is thought that Keiserman moved to Naples in 1793, which coincided with the anti-French uprising in Rome. In Naples it was most likely that he met with Jacob Philipp Hackert, works by this artist are also featured in this exhibition.


In 1798 Keiserman returned to Rome and took up residence at number 31 in Piazza di Spagna. He finally set up his own studio and during this time his popularity led him to being considered one of the top artistic figures in Rome. Between 1799-1803 he met the young Bartolommeo Pinelli (1781-1835), who also features in this exhibition, and began a successful collaboration with him, Keiserman concentrated on the landscape painting while Pinelli completed the artists figures, though in the present two pictures there is no suggestion that the figures are by Pinelli, they are complete autograph works by Keiserman.  


Another recent discovery is that of Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo, Ansaldo was born in Voltri, and was the son of a merchant. He trained under Orazio Cambiaso and probably collaborated with Bernardo Strozzi. Two of his pupils were Giuseppe Badaracco (1588-1657) and Bartolomeo Bassi (circa 1600s-circa 1640s). Ansaldo is responsible for the fresco decoration of the ‘Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato’ in Genoa, completed 1635-1638, just before his death. There is a painting of ‘Allegory of the Arts’ in the Manchester City Galleries. This drawing is being sold by the descendants of Harold Day.



Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo (Voltri 1584-Genoa 1638),  Saint Francis of Assisi conferring upon Saint Clare the habit of the Order of The Poor Clares, founded in 1212, black chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash, 277 x 198 mm (10¾ x 7¾ in.) Provenance:  Wildenstein & Co. Ltd, London, from whom purchased by Harold Day (his mark verso of backing mount, not in Lugt), with original receipt (as Francesco Vanni).


Areas to be covered in the exhibition will be Venice, Bologna, Florence and foreign artists working in Italy and will be accompanied by a You Tube video.


Where: The Illustration Cupboard, at 22 Bury Street, St.James's, London, SW1Y 6AL

When: 28 June-5 July

Further details:

Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd, Summergill, Kirkby Malham, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 4BS, England

Tel: +44 (0)1729 830 734

Mobile: +44(0)7771 552509