Giovanni Maria Viani
Hands resting on a Body [1] and An outstretched Left Hand [2]

PROVENANCE: Alessandro Maggiori (Frits Lugt 3005b), with his inscriptions; Carlo Argentieri (his mark, not in Frits Lugt); Breschi, (Frits Lugt 2079b, as unidentified); Anonymous sale, Sothebys London, 14 April 1986, part lot 6; Professor Raymond E. Pahl, FBA (1935-2011).

[1] inscribed G.M. Viani in pen and ink lower right, and [2] G. Viani fece, in pen and brown ink lower left, and Ales. Maggiori compra in/ Bologna nel 1787. [2] (verso)

Black and red chalk

[1] 111 x 166 mm. (4 3/8 x 6 1/2 in.) and [2] 99 x 123 mm. (3 7/8 x 4 7/8 in.)


The artistic personality of Viani is difficult to reconstruct since there are not many documents which can assist one with this, however there are quite a few surviving paintings and commissions. He was a pupil of Flaminio Torre (1621-1661), who inherited the artistic tradition of Guido Reni and Simone Cantarini. Vianis paintings in the sanctuary of Saint Luc in Bologna are clearly influenced by his master Torre. He had a number of important religious commissions, such as the lunettes in Portico dei Servi, in association with Carlo Cignani. There are two paintings in the collection of Brinsley Ford which show the influence of Reni and the Carracci. Vianis paintings at S.Michele in Bosco are markedly influenced by Canuti.

These two drawings come from the collection of Alessandro Maggiori who invariably wrote the name of the artist on the drawing and also where he bought the drawings, and the date of purchase. His attributions are not always correct, however they often are. The mark of Breschi and Argentieri are almost always seen together.

This is catalogue Number 27, in the on-line e-catalogue of 'Drawings, Prints and Paintings from the Collection of Professor Raymond E. Pahl, FBA (1935-2011)', see here for the catalogue.