Gaetano GANDOLFI- 1734 – 1802
Seated Male Nude
Bolognese School

Red chalk, white heightening

44.0 x 31.6 cm

Watermark :

Inscribed verso :

Euro :

Anchor with Letters E S

“Prisus Gandolfi immagi natale 1794”



Gaetano Gandolfi, born in San Matteo della Decima near Bologna in 1734, belongs to the most important Bolognese artistic family of the eighteenth century, together with his brother Ubaldo and his son Mauro. Gaetano's formal training consisted of attendance at the school of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna where his masters were Felice Torelli, Ercole Graziani and Ercole Lelli. His lifelong success in gaining commissions in the declining days of Bolognese patronage began as early as 1756. In 1760 he went to Venice to study for a year. Gaetano's reputation having been well established with several major commissioned paintings in Venice, on his return to Bologna his career seems to have continued to be successful. He apparently never again left his native city except for a trip to London in 1788. Gaetano Gandolfi died in Bologna in 1802.

While there are many such large nude study drawings by Ubaldo Gandolfi, there are very few known by Gaetano. Some comparative drawings are the "Seated Male Nude on a Stone Block" exhibited in the 1979 exhibition at Palazzo Re Enzo, the "Male Nude seen from Behind, Seated on a Rock" in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Rio de Janeiro (, the "Academic Male Nude, Holding a Staff" formerly with Christie's London in July of 2011, a "Seated Academic Male Nude, his Left Arm Raised" formerly with Christie's London in July of 2010, and the "Seated Male Academy" formerly with Sotheby's in New York in January of 1998. These nude studies are dated between the late 1780's and early 1790's, a dating which is further confirmed by the inscription on the verso, dating the present drawing to 1794.

The attribution has been confirmed in a written note by Prof.ssa Donatella Biagi Maino, after having seen the present drawing in the original.


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