Giuseppe Bernardino BISON - 1762 - 1844
Holy Family with Saint Ann
Venetian School

Black chalk

13.5 X 20.7 cm

Inscribed :

Euro :

"Tiepolo Giovanni Battista"



Giuseppe Bernardino Bison, born in Palmanova near Venice in 1762, began his studies in Brescia and later in 1777 at the Venetian Academy, where he was a pupil of Anton Maria Zanetti, Constantino Cedini and the scenographer and vedutista Antonio Maurei. The major influences on his works were, however, the paintings of Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Marco Ricci and Francesco Guardi. Venice, because of its settecento tradition, had strongly resisted Neoclassicism. After traveling in northern Italy, Bison resided in Trieste from about 1800 to 1831, where he acquired certain neoclassical tendencies and became popular as a decorative painter. Later, Romantic traits emerged in his paintings. He was nominated an associate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, but moved to Milan in 1831, which was at that time dominated by the Romantic style. In Milan, he worked as a vedutista in a vein similar to that of Migliara, though he retained a sense of Venetian fantasy and light. Bison was a prolific draughtsman who worked mainly in a decorative, eighteenth century style with a decidedly Venetian flavor. He was a transitional artist who bridged the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (Roberta Olson, "Italian Drawings 1780-1890". Indiana University Press. London, p.58). He died in Milan in 1844.

Apart from being a very talented and renown artist in his own right, Giuseppe Bernardino Bison often executed drawings in the manner of other renown artists of the eighteenth century, especially in the style of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The present drawing can be dated to the early years of his activity and already shows his typical morphology of the female heads as well as the loose contours that are lightly filled with hatchings. His drawing was so convincing that a later scholar or collector, probably from the nineteenth century, even inscribed the drawing as being by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.


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