Susanna and the Elders (Pittoni)

drawing by Giambattista Pittoni in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Susanna and the Elders (also known as Susanna e i Vecchioni) is a 18th-century portrait painted in oil by Giambattista Pittoni, made around 1720, during the Rococo in Venice, Italy, exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[1]

Susanna and the Elders
Italian: Susanna e i Vecchioni, French: Susanna et les anciens
See adjacent text.
ArtistGiambattista Pittoni
Yearc. 1720
TypeOil on poplar
Dimensions49 cm × 33 cm (19.4 in × 13.1 in)
LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York

DescriptionEdit

It is a compositional drawing in black chalk that depicts the history of Old Testament of Susanna, here portrayed on the right in nudity, surprised during the bath by two elderly people, whose figures are summarily portrayed.[2]

InterpretationEdit

Pittoni initially sketched the general composition quickly and lightly, then elaborated the contours of the male figures with much greater hand pressure to give the tonal emphasis. It is a work with the typical Rococo sensitivity of Pittoni, in which the composition seems to have been made for a painting, and seems to be closely related to the work of a sketch present in the Correr Civic Museum of Venice (inv. 4338) and in the Foundation Cini of Venice (inv. 30,252). The back of the work contains some accidental scribbles in black and red chalk (an upward motif seems to represent architectural forms), which do not seem to be the artist's. The annotation of the back in black plaster "79" is of an 18th century hand, while the annotation of the graphite verso "14 [?]. 39.8 / 1" is of a modern hand. (Carmen C. Bambach, 2005).

ReferencesEdit

BibliographyEdit

  • F. Zava Boccazzi, Pittoni, Venezia 1979

Other websitesEdit