BAROQUE SURREALISM Volume of designs, evidently drawn by a student of surveying in the latter part of the seventeenth century, seemingly in Venice or Northern Italy, containing an assemblage of fanciful cityscapes and other scenes, generally executed in pen-and-ink, some finished with bodycolour or coloured wash, [?Venice, late seventeenth-century]
Lot 140
BAROQUE SURREALISM
Volume of some forty designs, evidently drawn by a student of surveying in the latter part of the seventeenth century, seemingly in Venice or Northern Italy, containing an assemblage of fanciful cityscapes and other scenes, generally executed in pen-and-ink, some finished with bodycolour or coloured wash, [?Venice, late seventeenth-century]
Sold for £17,500 (US$ 23,477) inc. premium

Lot Details
BAROQUE SURREALISM Volume of designs, evidently drawn by a student of surveying in the latter part of the seventeenth century, seemingly in Venice or Northern Italy, containing an assemblage of fanciful cityscapes and other scenes, generally executed in pen-and-ink, some finished with bodycolour or coloured wash, [?Venice, late seventeenth-century] BAROQUE SURREALISM Volume of designs, evidently drawn by a student of surveying in the latter part of the seventeenth century, seemingly in Venice or Northern Italy, containing an assemblage of fanciful cityscapes and other scenes, generally executed in pen-and-ink, some finished with bodycolour or coloured wash, [?Venice, late seventeenth-century] BAROQUE SURREALISM Volume of designs, evidently drawn by a student of surveying in the latter part of the seventeenth century, seemingly in Venice or Northern Italy, containing an assemblage of fanciful cityscapes and other scenes, generally executed in pen-and-ink, some finished with bodycolour or coloured wash, [?Venice, late seventeenth-century]
BAROQUE SURREALISM
Volume of designs, evidently drawn by a student of surveying in the latter part of the seventeenth century, seemingly in Venice or Northern Italy, containing an assemblage of fanciful cityscapes and other scenes, generally executed in pen-and-ink, some finished with bodycolour or coloured wash, as follows: (i) Tomb set within an urban garden, with mourning figure standing by and dog prancing into view beneath a hatched sky, coloured; (ii) Colonnade with heavily rusticated pillars; (iii) Unfinished perspective of a cell within a building; (iv) Unfinished perspective of a colonnade; (v) Two storey building, set with a table and two chairs; (vi) Unfinished study of a columns; (vii) Unfinished perspective of a colonnade with patterned tile floor; (viii) Unfinished perspective sketches; (ix) Obelisk with hieroglyphs set within a colonnade, with hilly landscape and town beyond, a traveller with stave and his female companion and child resting by the obelisk (possibly drawn from the flight into Egypt); (x) Unfinished perspective sketches, with calculations in pencil; (xi) Figure studies, including a grotesque mask on top of a column, fighting and sleeping dogs, and an owl; (xii) Palace beneath a turbulent sky, with a dog in the foreground barking at an owl perched on a post, coloured; (xiii) Side of a porticoed loggia, with a castle and mountains in the background, to the fore a standing woman and rider on the ground fallen from his horse (taken from the Conversion of St Paul); (xiv) Studies of a herdsman reclining and two oxen, one coloured; (xv) Side of a porticoed loggia, with further pillars, a potted plant and tree, in the foreground a standing peasant woman holding a sieve, goat and riderless horse in harness, coloured; (xvi) Loggia with arched building housing a statue beyond, unpopulated, coloured (with transcript of a rental agreement headed "Adi Xbre 1419: Venezia" on verso); (xvii) Mother and child seated in an arched entryway, alongside two niches displaying statues of scantily-clad archer and king, with stairs leading to an altar in the background, coloured (taken from the Madonna and Child); (xviii) Side view of pillars surmounted by statues, with a fountain and church in the background, beneath a turbulent sky, coloured; (xix) Bishop seated within an arched library, a putto seated upon a book holding his mitre, a Sybil gesticulating alongside him, with bifurcated passages in the background, coloured; (xx) Empty colonnaded building, with gardener at the side, and turbulent sky above, coloured; (xxi) Archway with a galleon and port in the background, standing within the arch a maid with breasts exposed, alongside her a naked child holding a ring to a large hound, another dog behind them, coloured; (xxii) Unfinished sketch of a colonnade; (xxiii) Townscape with a Venetian-looking column in the background, beneath a turbulent sky rendered in a technique resembling embroidery, coloured; (xxiv) Two loggias seen from the side, with a tree in the background, beneath a sky rendered in a technique resembling embroidery, coloured; (xxv) Courtyard with a fountain at the centre, with statues (or people walking) above a screen in the background, with part of the sky rendered, coloured; (xxvi) Woman, flying putto and Mars at his anvil within an arched interior, coloured; (xxvii) Arched loggia with tower in the centre background, coloured; (xxviii) Classical townscape with a canal and bridge at the centre, ducks floating upon the water, with sky rendered above, coloured; (xxix) Classical townscape with a canal and bridge at the centre, ducks floating upon the water, a fisherman pulling what looks like a child out of the water, sky rendered above, coloured; (xxx) Twin archways surmounted by an AM/MA monogram, loggias to either side, sky rendered above, coloured; (xxxi) Lion in a rocky landscape (but without St Jerome), coloured; (xxxii) Unfinished perspective of an arched building seen from the side, coloured; (xxxiii) Sheet of geometric calculations with the ground plan of a pentagon star fort on the verso; (xxxiv) Unfinished pencil sketch of a loggia and tree; (xxxv) Hilly landscape with tree and chapel, drawn as if embroidered, coloured; (xxxvi) Ground plan of a pentagon star fort, coloured; (xxxvii) Side view of a colonnaded building, with trees and further buildings in background, coloured; (xxxviii) Tree, with buildings and mountains in the background, drawn as if embroidered, coloured; (xxxix) Seascape, with vessels labouring in a stiff wind, flying the red-and-white Austrian pennant (possibly denoting vessels from Trieste), a rowing boat in the right foreground, coloured; (xl) Porticoed cityscape, with a mother (a child in her backpack) and boy alongside her, pen-and-ink only; (xli) Unfinished study of a farm building, the head of a pig protruding at the edge; (xlii) Half-clothed figure seated in a rocky landscape, with a bay and city in the background, coloured, some forty drawings in all, generally in good fresh condition, bound randomly (some upside-down) evidently at a later date, size of the larger drawings (the majority) c.300 x 200mm., eighteenth-century white vellum boards, folio, [?Venice, late seventeenth-century]

Footnotes

  • SEVENTEENTH CENTURY DREAM LANDSCAPES -- A STRIKING SERIES OF PROTO-SURREAL DRAWINGS, most depicting colonnaded cityscapes set with random figures reminiscent of the metafisica landscapes of Giorgio de Chirico painted over two hundred years later – although it might be thought all the more authentic, in its reflection of the unconscious and dream-state, for being the result of naïve spontaneity rather than artifice. Much of the 'staffage' with which the artist's dreamworld is populated – the riderless horse, the bishop being harangued by a woman within a library, grotesque masks, owls, barking dogs, the child being fished from the town canal, and so forth – derive from religious imagery current in painting and prints of the age.

    Accompanying the drawings are two pages of notes, one of geometric calculations and another being, it appears, a transcript of a notorial deed concerning a property, headed "Adi Xbre 1419: Venezia"; the property in question seeming to belong to a "Girolamo Mataffor" (if, that is, we have read it correctly) and comprising the rental of a property in the ward of San Pietro di Castello, Venice. A further Northern Italian link is suggested by the paper. This bears the well-known Venetian watermark of three graduated crescents, known as the tre lune (similar to Heawood 867); with, as counter-marks, a trefoil between the initials M and P, and an anchor within a circle with a trefoil. A northern Italian origin is also suggested by the red-and-white pennant flown by the ships in the only seascape within the volume, which appears to be that of Austrian Trieste. (De Chirico also, perhaps not uncoincidentally, had strong Northern Italian links.) A late seventeenth century date is suggested by the watermarks, as well as by the handwriting of the documents, the costumes worn by some of the figures, and the style of the drawings; although this, like the question of locality and the artist's identity, remain open to further research.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:
A successful bidder at this sale will be required to pay Bonhams 1793 Limited ("Bonhams") a premium calculated as follows:
25% on the first £175,000 of the hammer price
20% on the excess of £175,001 and up to £3,000,000 of the hammer price
12.5% on the excess of £3,000,001 of the hammer price
VAT at 20% will be payable on the amount of the premium.
The premium is payable for the services to be provided by Bonhams in the Buyer's Agreement which is contained in the catalogue for this Sale and for the opportunity to bid for the Lot at the Sale.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping please contact the Book Department.

EXPORT LICENCES

Most manuscripts over fifty years old, and certain other lots, will require export licences in order to leave the UK or Europe. We can apply for these on your behalf. Please contact the Book Department if you would like further guidance.

Lot symbols
Exempt from tax

Zero rated for VAT, no VAT will be added to the Hammer Price or the Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. Books (UK)
    Auction administration - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +44 20 7393 3828
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3879
Similar Items