Padua 1807 — 1884 Bolzonella
Erminia and Vafrino Succor Tancredi
from Gerusalemme Liberata, XIX
pen & brown ink on laid paper. 280 x 380mm. watermark: a crescent. inscribed on the verso, possibly by the artist himsalf: Gazzotto in segno di amicizia.
The extraordinary technique of the present work, with stylish penlines filling the page, describing many different surfaces and depths by grouping linear patterns, is highly imdividualistic and appealing. The surface of the sheet is a pattern itself, as if the whole were greater than the subject. Yet the subject is center stage and dramatic. This episode from Jerusalemme Liberata was painted by Poussin, Guercino and any number of Baroque painters. It shows the moment when Erminia, having been summoned by Vafrino who found the wounded Tancredi, hurls herself from her horse to her suffering love. In Gazzotto's version, the figures are bathed in light while in a most beautiful landscape setting.
Another version of this drawing, simpler and squared, is in the Museum of Art in Padua.1 That drawing has been published and illustrated.2 Previously it had erroneously been given to Giovanni De Min.3 De Min taught Gazzotto.
Gazzotto studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, completing his studies there in 1827. Back in Padua, he attended classes at the Scuola del nudo held by Giovanni de Min. Though gifted, Vincenzo chose to spend his time only partly as an artist. In Padua, he frescoed the celebrated Caffe Pedrocchi, now in the University building and home to the Museo del Risorgimento e dell'Età Contemporanea. He also painted frescoes in the Teatro Verdi. As a draughtsman he produced illustrations for the Orlando Furioso published by Antonio Sacchetto in 1829 and the drawings for Il costume di tutte le nazione, published by Ludovico Menin between 1833-1843. Because of his skill and interest in the discipline, he founded a drawing school in Padua in 1837. In 1868 he moved to Villa Bolzonella where his last patrons, the Citadella Vigordarzere, lived.
Other drawings by the artist can be found in the museum in Padua.
As kindly noted by Matteo Crespi and reported to the previous owner.
Francesca Pellegrini, Da Giovanni De Min a EMilio Greco, disegni del Museo d'Arte, secoli XIX-XX, 2005, Padova, no.. 316, illustrated.
Giuliano Dal Mas, Nuovi contributi alla conoscenza del pittore bellunese Giovanni De Min, in Dolomiti, anno XX, numero 5, Octobre 1997, pp.25-35.