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Piazzetta's chalk drawings

Joseph Smith owned 36 of Piazzetta’s distinctive chalk drawings of ‘character heads’, including this large sheet with three figures. An allegory for amorous pursuit, the girl looks coyly at the viewer as she holds a bird in its cage, symbolising chastity, while the boy at left carries a hunter’s gun.

The drawing was engraved by Giovanni Cattini as part of a set of 14 full-scale prints after drawings by Piazzetta, Icones ad Vivum expressae (‘Images taken from Life’), issued by the Pasquali press in 1743. This impression is from the second edition of 1754.