price: U.S. $8,500


Modena 1637 — 1713 ?

The Road to Calvary

brush & brown ink & wash with white gouache heightening on paper toned with brown wash. 81/2 x 63/8" (215 x 160mm). retouched in a several small insignificant areas where silverfish had been.

The attribution to Sigismondo Caula was first put forth by Mario di Giampaolo.1 The drawing is quite different in handling from a group of the artist's red wash drawings discussed by James Byam Shaw (of which we also have one). Judging from its highly finished nature, the drawing may well have been an autonomous work. It might also have served as a presentation drawing, though its small size mitigates against that likelihood. The unusual opacity of the wash effects a dramatic and compelling image.

Other compositional drawings, though far sketchier in nature, are illustrated and discussed by Adalgisa Lugli in Erudizione e pittura alla corte estense: il casodi Sigismondo Caula (1637-1724) in Prospettiva No. 21 (1980).

Caula collaborated with Boulanger decorating the ducal court of the Estense at Sassuolo. His commissions in Modena were numerous. He painted for the churches, most notably, S. Carlo; for the sanctuaries where his most impressive decorative scheme is the grand cupola of the Sanctuaro di Fiorima on which he worked from 1681-1682; and for the convents. For thirty years he was Court painter in the city of his birth.


In person, in Florence, some years ago.