Black chalk, pen and grey ink and brown wash, octagonal pen and ink framing lines, watermark encircled fleur-de-lis
175 x 176 mm. (6 7/8 x 6 7/8in.)
Cades was apprenticed at an early age to the neo-classical painter Domenico Corvi. He left Corvi's studio while in his teens. His precocity did not endear him to the Roman establishment and for some years he made his living through the sale of his drawings, mainly to visitors on the Grand Tour. He began receiving important commissions by the mid 1770's.
Our drawing is characteristic of his line and wash drawings, and is comparable to 'Venus weeping over the body of Adonis', dated 1780, which was recently on the market, and to a number that have been published. The octagonal framing lines could indicate that this drawing was for an architectural setting, such as a ceiling or wall panel. It is interesting to observe that the dramatic gesture of Father Time is repeated in many of Cades drawings of figures.1
The attribution has been confirmed by Maria Teresa Caracciolo.2 I would like to thank Luca and Novella Baroni for first suggesting the attribution to Cades.
1.Christie's London, 5 July 2005, lot 122 and Maria Teresa Caracciolo, Giuseppe Cades, 1750-1799 et la Rome de son temps, Arthena, Paris, 1992, numbers 49C, 61, 70B, 102, 132 E, 143B, 149,160,163,174,198.
2. Written communication 11 July 2012.