Giacomo Cavedone
Sassuolo 1577-Bologna 1660
A Sibyl

PROVENANCE: 'Italian 17th Century Drawings from the Ferretti di Castelferretto Collection', Christies London, 2 July 1996, lot 24; Anonymous sale, Sothebys London, 8 July 1998, lot 50; Private collection, USA.

Point of brush and brown ink and wash, heightened with white, over black chalk, on paper washed brown

204 x 225 mm. (8 x 8 7/8 in)


The father of Giacomo Cavedone, a minor decorative painter, appealed to the local authorities for assistance and the younger Cavedone was given a three year stipend in 1591 to study painting in Bologna with Bernardino Baldi and Annibale Carracci. After Annibales departure for Rome in 1595 Cavedone stayed to became one of Ludovico Carraccis main assistants and on the formers death in 1619 he became Caposindaco of the Accademia degli Incamminati. Cavedone made a brief visit to Rome in 1609 as an assistant to Guido Reni and Cavedone also made a short visit to Venice in 1612-3, apart from these trips Cavedone did not stray far from Bologna. His career was shortened by a fall from a church scaffold in 1623, and in 1630 the death of his wife and children from the plague. He died in poverty in 1660 and religious resignation, having lost the will to paint productively after his misfortunes. His principal works are the Adoration of the Magi, the Four Doctors and the Last Supper.

Negro and Roio have dated our drawing to late in the artists career and connected it to two paintings, one Susannah and the Elders in a private collection, dateable to after 1630; and The Madonna and Child in Glory with Angels and Saints Bartolomeo and Anthony Abbot dateable to 1657, in the Chiesa di S Bartolomeo.1

They write, I disegni del Cavedone, invece, al pari dei dipinto e nonostante i diversi accorgimenti esecutivi utilizzata (carboncino, matita nera, inchiostro, ecc.), mantennero comunque unimpronta personale facilmente distinguibile/ 133/; una sorta di marchio graphico di fabbrica che ne agevola la ricerca e lindividuazione. Il disegno raffigurante una Sibilla passato recentemente nellasta Christies di Londra del 2 luglio 1996, lot 24. Contrariamente a quanto affermato nel catalogo della vendita, ritengo che la bella prova grafica sia databile negli anni della tardad maturit del maestro; prossimo dunque ad opere quali la Susanna e i veccioni (cat.n.126) e la pala di Bondanello (cat.n.128).

Our drawing is stylistically comparable to other works by the artist recently on the market, including The Assumption of the Virgin and Madonna and Child with Saints Alo and Petronius with Crispian Riley-Smith.2

1.E. Negro and N. Roio, op.cit, cat 126 and 128.

2.Anonymous sale, Paris, Millon & Associes, 13 December 2006, lot 15, and E. Negro and N. Roio, op.cit, cat 396A