Very fine brilliant impression, richly inked, in the second state of two. Printed on laid paper lacking a watermark.
In excellent condition, with regular margins all around.
This rare print was first attributed to Gaetano Gandolfi in 1906 by De Vesme, who knew the impression in the print room of the Biblioteca Nazionale di Parma. Nagler (N. II, 3006) had erroneously attributed it to Ch. G. Geisler.
Fausto Gozzi, in his catalogue of prints by the Gandolfi, published another fine impression in a private collection (no. 15).
Our etching depicts a Capriccio of heads. In the foreground is the frontal head of a man with a moustache, wearing a turban adorned with plumage. The artist’s monogram is inscribed on his shoulder. To his left we see two female profiles with that of an elderly bearded male below; to his right, cast in shadow, are two youthful male profiles.
Capricci di teste were very much in vogue at the time of the Gandolfi, all three of whom grasped the opportunity to create elegantly harmonious groups of heads in their graceful and highly refined drawings and prints. The widespread taste for such images is confirmed reflected by the existence of an album of 23 etchings by Luigi Tadolini (1758-1823), a complete series of which is preserved in the Bibliothèque d'art et d'archéologie Jacques Doucet, Paris (see D. Biagi Maino, 1994, Gaetano Gandolfi’s Capricci of Heads: Drawings and Engravings, in The Burlington Magazine, CXXXVI, no. 1905, June, pp. 375-79).
De Vesme, Le Peintre-Graveur Italien, Milan 1906, pag.515, no. 17.
Fausto Gozzi, Ubaldo, Gaetano e Mauro Gandolfi: Le incisioni, Comune di San Giovanni in Persiceto 2002, no. 15.