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

Circle of Luigi Sabatelli, the binding of Prometheus


Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk, on wove paper; 480 x 330 mm. Inscribed in pencil at the right bottom corner 'Sabatelli?'.
There is an obvious connection between this powerful drawing and the draughtsmanship of Luigi Sabatelli. However, the characteristic of the hatching are quite different from those of Luigi, usually much more refined. So I am inclined to attribute the drawing to one of Luigi's sons, who where all painters and draftsmen in the footsteps of their father: Francesco (Florence 1803 - Milan 1830), Giuseppe (Milan 1813 - Florence 1843), Luigi il Giovane (Milan 1818 - 1899), Gaetano (? - Milan, after 1893).

Sabatelli was the most talented of the Tuscan painters of the generation after Pietro Benvenuti. He was born in the house of Marchese Pier Roberto Capponi, in Florence, while his own father was in domestic service there. The Marchese Capponi was Sabatelli's early sponsor, financing his education at the Florentine Academy and his sojourns in Rome and Venice. In 1808 Luigi Sabatelli was appointed to the chair of painting at the Brera Academy in Milan. There he remained over forty years, although he continued to carry out commissions in Tuscany. During his mature years, Sabatelli established himself as a decorator and fresco painter, with numerous public and private commissions. Sabatelli was a fine painter and one of the premier pre-romantic draftsmen of nineteenth century Italy. He was also an accomplished etcher.


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