Antonio Zucchi, born
in Venice in 1726, was the son of Francesco and brother of Giuseppe
Zucchi and the husband of Angelica Kauffmann. A pupil of Carlo Zucchi,
Antonio was active in the workshop and school of Francesco Fontebasso
and Jacopo Amigoni. By 1760, accompanied by the architects Louis
Clérisseau and Robert Adam, Antonio Zucchi visited the main
cities of Italy. In 1766, upon the invitation of Robert Adam, Zucchi
went to London where in 1770 he became an associate of the Royal
Academy, exhibiting there for four years during the 1770's. In England
he worked together with Robert Adam, decorating his many architectural
projects. In 1776 Zucchi became a member of the Venetian Academy.
He returned to Venice in 1781 with his bride where he remained for
one year before leaving for Rome. Antonio Zucchi remained in Rome
for the rest of his life, apart from a few trips to England and
his native city. The manner of Zucchi lies between the tradition
of Venetian Rococo and the new neoclassical departures. His work
is also very important from the historical point of view, in that
he may be considered one of those who helped bring about the transformation
of Venetian painting. Of deep perception, he was aware of changing
taste at a surprisingly early stage; he joined the new neoclassical
tendency far ahead of other artists of his time. Antonio Zucchi
died in Rome in 1795. (Pietro Zampetti, "Venetian Painters". F.
Lewis publishers, 1972, p.112).
The greater part of
Antonio Zucchi's graphic production was the depiction of scenes
from the Roman countryside which were mainly executed in pen and
brown ink with the unique addition of white heightening. This technique
of using white heightening may be the result of his earlier Venetian
artistic education. The present drawing must be dated to or after
the period following his Venetian sojourn of about 1760 as is indicated
by the colouring and the style which is already indicative of his
later neo-classical style. A comparable drawing "Family Portrait
in an Interior" was formerly in the Paul Wallraf collection.