The Finding of the infant Moses
  • Giuseppe Passeri
  • Rome 1654 - 1714
  • The Finding of the infant Moses
  • Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over red chalk,
    partly heightened with white, on laid paper
  • 184 × 165 mm

Because a large part of Giuseppe Passeri’s painted oeuvre has not survived, his drawings have an increased importance as a testament to his production. They are characterized by a highly individual mixture of techniques, as exemplified by the sheet shown here.

Passeri would work over a relatively free red-chalk underdrawing with pen and ink, in order to clarify the contours and internal structure. Then he would apply washes of grey or brown ink to the study. To these still damp passages, Passeri would then add powerful heightening in white gouache, which would almost melt into both the wash and the underdrawing. In this way, he made entirely unmistakable and individual works on paper with a very complex effect.

During his two decades in Rome, the Düsseldorf painter Lambert Krahe (1712-1790) acquired the bulk of the drawings and oil sketches from Passeri’s studio a few years after the artist’s death. As the director of the grand-ducal collection of paintings in his native city, Krahe would subsequently bequeath the works to this collection1.

  1. Dieter Graf: Die Handzeichnungen des Giuseppe Passeri,
    Düsseldorf 1995, cat. Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf:
    Handzeichnungen/drawings vol. 5/1 and 2