Black chalk, pen and brown ink, single pen and brown ink framing lines, on laid paper
192 x 252 mm. (7 x 9 7/8 in.)
There is some ink gall losses in the tree on the left, and some minor discolouration of the paper in this area of the drawing. The drawing is laid down onto a secondary support. The condition of the paper and ink are otherwise good.
SIX DRAWINGS BY A 17TH CENTURY FLORENTINE ARTIST, FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION
These drawings are of special interest since they show the various and varied subject matter that are characteristic of Remigio Cantagallinas oeuvre. In addition it is very rare to have a single group of 6 drawings coming up on the market at the same time by this artist. Normally only single drawings appear on the market, and recent examples include Impruneta that was with Pandora Old Masters Inc, at Master Drawings New York 2014, A View of the countryside around the village of Pratieghi that sold at Christies New York, January 31, 2013, lot 103; or View of Castel di Poggio that sold at Christies London, July 5, 2011, lot 20.
These drawings in this collection were all bought in New York around the 1960s and 1970s and have remained in the same collection until today. They have all been recently re-mounted in bespoke handmade conservation mounts and framed in non-reflective Ultra-violet protection glass and are in individual antique frames.
(Borgo San Sepulcro circa 1582/3-circa 1656 Florence)
Filippo Baldinucci (1624-1697), the Italian art historian and biographer, was one of the most significant Florentine historians of the Baroque period. In his account of Giulio Parigi (1571-1635) he says that three bothers Cantagallina (and a nephew) were pupils of Parigi, and two of them, Remigio and Giovan Francesco (both of whom died in 1656), he describes as celebre in disegnar paesi a penna and eccellente in far paesi a penna. It was Giovan Francesco, according to Baldinucci, who was sent by the Grand Duke Cosimo II of Tuscany to the Netherlands, to study fortifications as a military engineer, and he remained there for 11 years. It is assumed that Remigio joined him on his trip to the Low Countries in 1612-13, since there is an album of this trip to the Low Countries in Muses Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels (Inventory 2994). This album of 105 drawings was acquired in 1866 in Florence from Vincenzo Capelli, 37 of these drawings are inscribed and dated, and are stylistically comparable to our collection. Cantagallina was to be an important influence on the later generation of landscape draughtsmen active in Florence such as Ercole Bazzicaluva (c.1600-after 1661) and Jacques Callot (1592-1635).
Our drawings are comparable to a number of drawings in public collections including one drawing that is signed with initials and dated 1624, of A View of a Village with Figures in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (inventory 2004.350.2), as well as the Frits Lugt Collection, in Paris, including View of Florence from the South East; and View of the Outskirts of Florence and View of a Tuscan Village and Village Landscape1.
Cantagallina worked as an etcher and draughtsman. His first documented work is 1603, the date of a series of landscape etchings. His first documented work is 1603, the date of a series of landscape etchings. He assisted Giulio Parigi in 1608 on two of his theatre sets, including a wedding celebration for Cosimo II deMedici and Maria Madaglena of Austria, a set of these prints are in the British Museum (1861, 0713.1476). He was influenced by Paul Bril and this can be seen quite clearly in the handling of these drawings. In later life he concentrated on producing independent drawings, comparable to one in the collection of Christ Church, Oxford2.
1.James Byam Shaw, The Italian Drawings of the Frits Lugt Collection, Paris 1983, Volumes 1 and 2, numbers 62-5, pp 65-9, plates 77-80.
2.J. Brooks, Graceful and True, Drawing in Florence, c. 1600, Oxford, exhib. cat., The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 15 October 2003, and elsewhere, no.28.p.77.