Private collection, England.
Dated 1618, Black chalk, pen and brown ink, pen and brown ink framing lines.
236 x 357 mm. (9 x 14in.)
The drawing was most probably drawn in the campagna around Florence. The drawing is of a similar size to others of this subject. Also the medium, and the handling of the pen and ink. In particular I think the figure with baggy trousers on the left in our drawing is similar to the figure on the right in the ex Colnaghi drawing. It is comparable to a pen and ink drawing of the Boboli gardens1.
Cantagallina worked as an etcher and draughtsman. He assisted Giulio Parigi in 1608 on two of his theatre sets. His first documented work is 1603, the date of a series of landscape etchings. He was influenced by Paul Bril and this can be seen quite clearly in the handling of this drawing. He showed an interest in scenes of everyday life, which may have been due to a visit to the Low Countries in 1612-13. In later life he concentrated on producing independent drawings, comparable to one in the collection of Christ Church, Oxford2.
The attribution of the present drawing has been confirmed by Hugo Chapman, who has seen the present drawing.
1.Sothebys New York, 28 January 1998, lot 40.
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.