19th century North or French School
Several putti studies (front and back )
Pen and black ink on beige paper.
203 x 326 mm – 7 63/64 x 12 13/16 in.
Provenance : – Stamp (L. 975), on the back, lower left, perhaps belonging to Andreas Freiherr von Baumgartner ( 1793-1865 ), physicist, professor and president of the Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
This rare and original sheet presents, on its two sides, recto and verso, friezes of putti and characters seized in various postures, engaging in various activities. The recto of our sheet turns out to be rich with seventeen sketches and the back has eleven, sometimes depicting a single putto, sometimes two putti. Some have attributes – sword, globe, compass – others are with animals – ram, swans, eagle -. For example, on the back, the second drawing, represents a putto grappling with an eagle while the last, on the right, illustrates two cherubs perched on a column base that appear to repel the onslaught of a raptor. In some of the performances, the putti also seem to face each other physically in a jousting form. In the lower part, a crater appears, strangely presented horizontally, decorated with two putti. The two sides of our sheet undoubtedly constitute a repertoire of patterns for a decor project – painted or stucco – or for small sculptures on clocks or works of art.