Detail from Le Concert d'une Faune (The Faun's Concert) by Francesco Bartolozzi, after a drawing by Carlo Cignani, ca. 1765-1766. Dayton C. Miller Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.
after a drawing by Carlo Cignani, painter, 1628-1719
This is a beautifully rendered engraving of four figures - fauns and satyrs - gathered together to play or listen to musical instruments. The seated faun at the right plays a fanciful pipe. In the center, a child plays a tambourine, while a satyr child, with goat hoofs, plays panpipes. On the left, a faun with grape leaves in his hair rests his hand on a wine vessel and listens to the others play.
This engraving (the figures are mostly engraved, while the background is etched) is included in a book on Bartolozzi's prints by Alessandro Baudi de Vesme, Francesco Bartolozzi: Catalogue des Estampes.... It is described on page 100, cat. no. 416 as follows, in translation: "(Etching and engraving) THE FAUN'S CONCERT. After C. Cignani (1765). At the right a faun is seated, turned in profile toward the left, playing a clarinet. In the middle, a satyr child plays the flute of Pan, and a seated child beats on a Basque tambour. At left, another faun, seen only mid-length, his left hand resting on a vase. [it is inscribed] 'Carlo Cignani inv. - F Bartolozzi sculp. in Londra' [the engraving measures] 181 x 245 [mm.]; [the plate impression measures] 220 x 272 [mm.]. [Included in] 'Seventy-three prints ....'"
The Miller print has been trimmed to the image itself and does not carry any inscription, but the description of the Miller engraving matches exactly that given in the catalogue of Bartolozzi's prints by Baudi de Vesme, and the measurements of the engraving itself are nearly identical. The citation in Baudi de Vesme refers to Seventy-three prints engraved by F. Bartolozzi &c. from the original pictures and drawings of Michael Angelo, Domenchino ... in the Collection of His Majesty. This collection of prints by Bartolozzi after works in the collection of George III of England is undated, but it was probably published in London ca. 1765-1766. (Bartolozzi came to London in 1764, where he enjoyed royal patronage and a successful career as an engraver for 38 years until he left for Lisbon in 1802). The Bartolozzi engraving in the Miller Collection was probably based on a red chalk drawing by Carlo Cignani (1628-1719) entitled Pan and Satyrs and it appeared as plate 15 in Seventy-three prints.... However, the original drawing by Cignani is apparently lost.
See another work by Bartolozzi in the Miller Collection, a stipple engraving, 443/R. See also works in the Miller Collection by Peltro William Tomkins, Bartolozzi's assistant, 419/K, 587/O, and 603/K.
About the Artists
Francesco Bartolozzi, painter and engraver, 1727-1815
Francesco Bartolozzi, the son of a Florentine goldsmith, Gaetano Bartolozzi, was born in Florence in 1727, and he died in Lisbon in 1815. He studied at the Academy in Florence, then went to Rome and Venice where he entered the studio of the master engraver, Joseph Wagner. Bartolozzi perfected a technique of stipple engraving in the crayon manner that was especially fine in replicating chalk drawings of Renaissance and Baroque artists. It was because of his beautifully engraved reproductions of drawings by Guercino in Venetian collections that Bartolozzi was invited by Richard Dalton, the librarian to George III, to come to England in 1764 as engraver to the King, and to engrave the drawings of Guercino in the Royal Collection. For the next 38 years, Bartolozzi lived in England. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy and engraved its diploma in 1768, based on a design by Cipriani, with whom he collaborated on many other projects, such as the illustrations of Ariosto's Orlando furioso.
Bartolozzi also engraved many of the works of his contemporaries - the allegorical works of Cipriani, Angelica Kauffman, and William Hamilton, as well as portraits by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Romney, Copley and others. In addition, Bartolozzi produced many engravings for the English publisher and print seller, John Boydell, including some engravings he made after paintings commissioned by Boydell from many of the above artists for Boydell's "Shakespeare Gallery." This was a large exhibition space on Pall Mall in London that opened to the public in 1789 and featured paintings illustrating scenes from Shakespeare's plays by the finest artists then working in England. New paintings, and engravings after them, were commissioned by Boydell for annual spring exhibitions until the gallery closed in 1805 after financial reverses. The first set of engravings after these paintings was published in 1791, and a nine-volume folio edition of Shakespeare, illustrated with engravings, was published by Boydell in 1802. To assist him in the production of the more than 2500 prints he made in England, Bartolozzi had as many as fifty assistants and students, among them his son, Gaetano, Peltro William Tomkins, and Luigi Schiavonetti. In 1802, Bartolozzi left England to accept the directorship of the National Academy in Lisbon. Bartolozzi died in Portugal in 1815 at age 87.
Carlo Cignani, painter, 1628-1719
Carlo Cignani was an Italian artist who was born in Bologna in 1628 and who died in Forli in 1719. He was the most important artist working in Bologna in the last part of the 17th century. Cignani came from a noble family and his first artistic attempts were to make drawings of the paintings in his father's collection. His first master was Giambattista del Cairo. Then, he was the student and assistant, until 1660, of Francesco Albani, from whom he absorbed the classical Bolognese style established by Annibale Carracci, Domenichino and Guido Reni. After painting two frescoes for the Farnese family palace in Bologna, he spent the next three years (1662-1665) in Rome under the protection of Cardinal Girolamo Farnese. Cignani was most influenced by the figural style of Correggio with its delicate modelling and coloring which Cignani emulated in four groups of putti which decorate the overdoors of the church, San Michele in Bosco, in Bologna, painted in 1665.
Cignani had a workshop in Bologna in the 1660s and 1670s, but later moved his studio to Forli in 1686. He had many assistants and students, his favorite being Marantonio Franceschini, who assisted Cignani on various projects. Together with other assistants, they collaborated on a fresco cycle on the theme of love for a Farnese palace in Parma which incorporated many scenes from mythology, including Pan and Syrinx. This fresco cycle is considered one of Cignani's finest works. Cignani was a consummate perfectionist, often retouching his frescoes. Beginning in 1683, he spent more than 20 years on his most important work in the cupola of the chapel of the Madonna del Fuoco in the Forli Cathedral, an Assumption of the Virgin, which was finally completed in 1706. About 1686, he also painted an Aurora in the ceiling of the Albicini palace in Forli. Cignani was considered one of the finest artists of his day and he enjoyed the patronage of numerous European courts. In 1709, Cignani was appointed 'Principe perpetuo' (director for life) of the Accademia Clementina, the first municipal art academy founded in Bologna in that year. More than 60 artists received at least part of their training from Cignani, the most important of whom were Franceschini and Giuseppe Maria Crespi.
- Alessandro Baudi de Vesme, Francesco Bartolozzi: Catalogue des Estampes, with a critical study by Augusto Calabi. Milan: Guido Modiano, 1928. Library of Congress. General Collection. LC call number: NE662.B3B3 Folio. [back to article]
- Original text: "(Eau-forte et burin). LE CONCERT D'UNE FAUNE. D'après C. Cignani. (1765). À droite un faune est assis, tourné de profil vers la gauche, jouant la clarinette. Au milieu, un satyre enfant joue de la flûte de Pan, et un enfant assis, tappe sur un tambour de basque. À gauche, un autre faune, vu seulement à mi-corps, sa main gauche posée sur un vase. [it is inscribed] 'Carlo Cignani inv. - F Bartolozzi sculp. in Londra'. [the engraving measures] 181 x 245 [mm.]; [the plate impression measures] 220 x 272 [mm.]. [Included in] 'Seventy-three prints ....'" [back to article]
- This source is not in the Library of Congress. [back to article]
- See Otto Kurz, Bolognese Drawings of the XVII & XVIII Centuries in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle. London: Phaidon Press, 1955. Library of Congress. General Collection. LC call number: NC1045.K8. On page 95, Kurz describes two drawings by Cignani, including one on which the Miller engraving was probably based, as being no longer traceable in the Royal Collection. This is confirmed in a catalogue of Cignani's frescoes, paintings and drawings by Beatrice Buscaroli Fabbri, Carlo Cignani: Affreschi, Dipinti, Disegni. Milan: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1991. Library of Congress. General Collection. LC call number: N6923.C5248A4. See page 214, cat. no. 89, for a work by Cignani entitled Bacchanale that is now lost, and is known only through an engraving of it by Bartolozzi which is illustrated on page 215. The lost Cignani drawing on which the Miller engraving was based probably resembled a red chalk drawing of a faun by Cignani now in the Courtauld Institute, London, which is reproduced in Fabbri, page 241, cat. no. 117. [back to article]
- For more biographical information on Bartolozzi, see Bénézit and an article, "Francesco Bartolozzi," in Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online (subscription only). [back to article]
- For a study of Cignani's life and work, see Beatrice Buscaroli Fabbri, "Carlo Cignani: Affreschi, Dipinti, Disegni." Milan: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1991. LC call number: N6923.C5248A4. There is a long list of Cignani's works in public collections in Bénézit. See also Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online for an article, "Carlo Cignani," by Dwight C. Miller (subscription only). [back to article]