DAILY ART FIX: Rare 18th-Century Drawing by Rococo Artist Tiepolo Discovered in English Estate’s Attic

Art world links which caught my eye…

A drawing made with thin reddish lines on yellowed paper of many small men with large conical hats eating and making merry

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo “A Large Group of Punchinelli “

I enjoy stories like this. It seems to happen quite often. A lost art treasure is unexpectedly found.

It might seem strange for someone to misplace a work of art worth well over 100,000 British pounds. But after a member of the wealthy Sitwell family purchased a whimsical 18th-century Italian drawing in 1936, the work of art was tucked away and forgotten in one of the many rooms at Weston Hall, the family’s grand estate in Northamptonshire.

“No one seemed to know where [the drawing] was, or even give it a second thought,” notes Henrietta Sitwell, a descendant of the well-known English literary family, in a statement from Dreweatts, which is set to sell the contents of Weston Hall next month.

The Sitwell heirs decided to auction off the family’s inventory of fine goods earlier this year. Combing through the hall’s nine attics, reports Neil Johnston for the London Times, Henrietta stumbled onto a surprise: a small work of art wrapped in bubble wrap and leaning against the wall…

Experts eventually identified the drawing as the draftsmanship of Italian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770), whose large-scale frescoes “epitomized” the extravagant Italian Rococo style, per Encyclopedia Britannica. Titled A Large Group of Punchinelli, the small ink drawing depicts a boisterous group of large-nosed, hunchbacked clowns celebrating and eating gnocchi.

Read the full article here: SMITHSONIAN – Rare 18th-Century Drawing by Rococo Artist Tiepolo Discovered in English Estate’s Attic


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