Study of two oriental characters by Giuseppe Bernardino Bison


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Giuseppe bernardino bison

Palmanova, 1762 – Milan, 1844

Study of two oriental characters

Black chalk and red chalk trace on the back.

200 x 141 mm – 7 7/8 x 5 9/16 in.


Originally from the Udine region of Friuli, Giuseppe Bernardino Bison began his training as an artist in the studio of Anton Maria Zanetti (1706-1778) in Venice. At the beginning of his career, he traveled extensively decorating numerous villas and palaces around Venice. We owe him in particular the decorations of the Manzoni Palace in Padua, the Tironi villa in Lancenigo, the Soderini casino in Treviso. Around 1800, he moved to Trieste where he received important commissions including the decoration of the Carciotti Palace and the Della Vecchia Borsa Palace. In 1831 he moved to Milan where he worked until the end of his career as a set designer making stage drawings for the Scala in Milan and for other theatres. He also painted many small oil and tempera landscapes for sale to private collectors.

His early works show a strong influence of Giambattista Tiepolo and Francesco Guardi while his later works approach neoclassicism. He uses all techniques to draw, moving from red chalk, black chalk and watercolor to ink wash while giving his drawings great inventive freedom, sensitivity for the picturesque, a pronounced taste for everyday subjects, and an interpretation of mythological and sacred subjects.

The speed and freedom of execution of this black chalk sketch are characteristic works of this artist who here represents two oriental characters – a woman and a man-dressed with a turban.


Condition report: Upper right and lower left angles missing. Strip of paper laminated all around. Some light stitching. On the reverse, drawing trace or deposit of the material of another drawing.