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The Drawings of Castiglione and Stefano Della Bella

In the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle

Anthony Blunt

 137 pages

Cover for Castiglione and Stefano Della Bella

Cover for Castiglione and Stefano Della Bella ©

This publication examines the Royal Collection drawings by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and Stefano Della Bella. 

The two artists are examined separately, the introduction to the works by the former being a short monograph, while for the latter only an essay is offered. This difference in scale was dictated by the nature of the material, and by the existing literature in the two cases. In the case of Stefano della Bella the ground has already been fairly well worked, though more in relation to the etchings than to the drawings. Moreover, the drawings by him in the Royal Library, though fine in quality, form only one of many groups which survive to this day, those in the Uffizi, the Louvre, and the Hermitage being at least of nearly equal importance.

The case of Castiglione is quite different. The only monograph on him deals almost exclusively with his paintings and leaves much to be desired, even in this field. Moreover, since its publication many paintings have been discovered, mainly in English private collections. Finally, the drawings at Windsor form by far the most important body of evidence available about his work and development. As such, this publication provides a wide survey of his works, correcting errors in previous biographies, proposing a chronology both of drawings and paintings and attempting to place the artist in the general perspective of Italian and, in certain respects, of European art.

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Highlights from the publication

Stefano della Bella (1610-1664)

A sleeping satyr

Stefano della Bella (1610-1664)

A sledge on a mountain

Stefano della Bella (1610-1664)

A figure wearing a fantastic headdress

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-64)

Sacred and Profane Love

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-64)

Pan and Syrinx

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-64)

A family with animals in a landscape