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Pietro Testa, flying female figure surrounded by putti

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PIETRO TESTA called il Lucchesino (Lucca 1611 - Rome 1650) FLYING FEMALE FIGURE SURROUNDED BY PUTTI (recto) SKETCH OF TWO STANDING MALE FIGURES (verso)
Pen and brown ink (recto), black chalk (verso); 168 x 130 mm. Oval shaped.
The drawing on the recto is connected with the figure of Innocence surrounded by putti in the painting 'Allegoria della strage degli innocenti' (1630-1640), Galleria Spada, Rome, which is one of the few paintings by Testa.

Born in Lucca, Testa moved to Rome early in life, where he drew hundreds of antiquities for engravings and for various patrons. In 1631 he entered Pietro da Cortona's studio, but Cortona threw him out because of his difficult personality. Testa, who desired fame as a history painter but never achieved it, was among the most renowned Italian printmakers and draftsmen of the 1600s. His early prints show very delicate effects of light; his later ones became harder and more austere in style, as he attempted a personal version of Neoclassicism under the influence of the Carracci. After career setbacks, he grew preoccupied with tragic themes and finally drowned in the Tiber River, probably a suicide.

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