Lot 75: Pair 19th C. Charcoal Drawings - Roman Battle Scenes
November 7, 2016
Louisville, CO, USA
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Europe, ca. 19th century CE. A pair of 19th century drawings finely executed in graphite on paper, one depicting an action-packed battle scene set before classical architecture topped by a statue of the Capitoline Wolf with the legendary twins Romulus and Remus who founded Rome nursing beneath, atop a base inscribed with the initials S.P.Q.R. abbreviating a Latin phrase "Senatus Populusque Romanus ("The Roman Senate and People", or more freely as "The Senate and People of Rome"; Classical Latin: [s?'na?.t?s p?p?'l?s.k?? ro?'ma?.n?s]), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic. This battle scene and its landscape format lead us to believe that the composition of this drawing may in fact be a model intended for a frieze or sarcophagus similar to the Great Ludovisi Sarcophagus, for example. The second drawing depicts a heartfelt scene of familes and couples embracing, perhaps celebrating a military victory, in the foreground, with several armed soldiers in uniform behind them, while three figures in the middle ground dramatically point toward a violent scene in the background featuring a vicious attack on one individual. A marvelous pair of drawings boasting strong chiaroscuro, nice foreshortening, and skillfully modeled figures, created during the Neoclassical era that arose during the 18th century Age of Enlightenment but continued to flourish into the early 19th century. Size: 18" W x 13" H (45.7 cm x 33 cm) and 17" W x 13" H (43.2 cm x 33 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Denenberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CA.
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Condition Report: A few minor tears, particularly to peripheries. Smaller drawing with a minor crease top center area. Overall both are very good.