Oil painting on canvas, Venus descending from her Swan-drawn Chariot by Gaetano Gandolfi (Emilia Romagna 1734-Bologna 1802), 1761/69. Venus standing on a shell-chariot, a red cloak fluttering from her outstretched arms, alighting from her chariot drawn by two swans, her right hand on a black globe supported by cupids; the three Graces in the background to the left, two chariot-pulling swans in the foreground.
Although quite plausibly ascribed to Gaetano Gandolfi (San Matteo della Decima 1734 - Bologna 1802) when they first appeared on the market, this painting?s reattribution to his elder brother, Ubaldo, is accepted here. The two sketches appear to have much in common with the pair of bozzetti of similar size, of Perseus & Andromeda and Diana and Endymion, that were or are in the Carozza collection in Bologna, and which are for two pictures painted by Ubaldo for the Appartamento del Gonfalioniere in the Palazzo Communale of that city (cf. exh.cat. I Gandolfi: discegni e dipinti, Fondaz. Giorgio Cini, Venice, and Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande, Bologna, 1987, nos. 58 & 96 and 60 & 61 [the two pairs of illustrations transposed]. The Perseus & Andromeda, which had previously been exhibited on its own in the great exhibition of Italian Baroque Painting in Florence in 1922 (no.439), is signed and dated by Ubaldo in 1770, even though the first mention of the two pictures is in the 1782 edition of the guide to Pitture .... &c. in Bologna, rather than in that of 1776.
For a festive carriage for 'Senatore Marescalchi' [not (too young) Count Ferdinando Marescalchi (1754 - 1816)] of Bologna; with the Arcade Gallery (Paul Wengraf), London, around 1957 as The Birth of Venus; bequeathed by Mrs Ellett (widow of the purchaser) (1994/2001)
Makers and roles
Gaetano Gandolfi (Emilia Romagna 1734-Bologna 1802)
Ubaldo Gandolfi (San Matteo della Decima 1728 - Ravenna 1781), artist
Cazort 1993 Mimi Cazort, The Art of Embellishment: Drawings and Paintings by Gaetano and Mauro Gandolfi for a Festive Carriage, Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University, vol. 52, no. ( 1993), pp. 29-39