Auction Master Drawings: Important Master Drawings from the collection Sestieri

A selection of Old Master drawings from the collection of distinguished art historian, Giancarlo Sestieri, will be sold at auction at Dorotheum on 6 November 2019.

Jusepe de Ribera (Játiva 1591–1652 Naples) Study of a dragon, pen and brown ink on laid paper, 16.5 x 24.8 cm Master Drawings, Prints before 1900 Watercolours, Miniatures auction 6 November 2019

The collection of 17th and 18th century Roman and Neapolitan drawings is the result of Sestieri many years of study and research in this field. The collection provides a fascinating insight into the rich artistic creativity of the time, through the treatment of the differing iconographic genres of figure, landscape and architectural drawing.

Many of the drawings included in this collection have been published in Sestieri’s numerous research papers and some have been included in major exhibitions, amongst others, at the Palazzo Borghese in Rome.

Amongst the works of the Neapolitan school, the fantastical study of a dragon by Jusepe de Ribera deserves mention. With its bat-like wings, long neck, curved reptilian tail and two claws, Ribera’s dragon aligns with traditional depictions of this beast in European literature and popular culture, in which the dragon was often interpreted as the embodiment of Satan, or as the incarnation of evil.

Jakob van der Ulft attributed to (1621–1689) The new Basilica of St Peter in Rome, an obelisk and two figures in the foreground, pen and brown ink over black chalk,
grey wash, laid on paper, 26.3 x 38.7 cm Master Drawings, Prints before 1900, Watercolours, Miniatures auction 6 November 2019

Other important drawings in the collection include works by Salvator Rosa, Francesco Solimena, Domenico Gargiulo, Giuseppe Passeri, Antonio Cavalucci, Felice Giani, Filippo Falciatore and Astolfo Petrazzi. A second group of drawings from Giancarlo Sestieri’s collection will be included at auction at Dorotheum in the spring sale in 2020.


Auction date: Master Drawings, Prints before 1900, Watercolours, Miniatures, 6th November 2019, 2 p.m.

Location: Palais Dorotheum, Dorotheergasse 17, 1010 Vienna

Exhibition: 31st October 2019 – 6th November 2019

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