Mattia Jona, Master Drawings and Prints, Japanese Prints - Piazzetta Guastalla 5, 20122 Milan, Italy, tel (+39) 02 8053315

Francesco Casanova, shepherd with herd


Black chalk heightened with white on gray-green paper; 250 x 406 mm.

Casanova was born in London, where his parents were touring, and spent his youth in Venice. In the Mémoires of his brother Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, it is said that there he studied drawing with Giovanni Antonio Guardi. In Venice he also made copies after the work of the history and battle painter Francesco Simonini who probably taught him in Florence from around 1749. Two years later he moved to Paris but in 1752 left for Dresden, where he came into contact with the work of Charles Parrocel and Philips Wouwerman. In 1757 Casanova returned to Paris where, according to the Mémoires, he exhibited a picture at the Louvre, and rapidly became a much sought-after court painter of battle, hunting and equestrian scenes. In 1783 Casanova settled in Vienna. In 1795 he travelled with Prince Nicolas Esterházy to Hungary, where he is said to have executed numerous equestrian sketches, and in 1797 he completed paintings for Ferdinand IV, the Bourbon King of Naples (1759–1825). His most significant pupil was Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, who studied with him in Paris.


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