Jan Worst (fl. c. 1645 - 1660)
Capriccio with a bridge leading up to the Casina Farnese
point of the brush and grey wash over black chalk, laid on blue card, black ink framing lines
255 x 395 mm
Private collection, France
This sheet bears many of the distinguishing hallmarks of the Dutch draughtsman Jan Worst, whose depictions of the Roman campagna in the late 1640s are characteristic examples of the thriving field of Italianate landscape drawing. We are grateful for Dr Peter Schatborn for his endorsement of the attribution following examination of high-definition photographs. Here, a bridge, surrounded by overgrown rushes and bushy trees, leads up to a partially ruined building, the Casina Farnese. A solitary figure carrying a staff leans over the bridge’s edge towards the light-source. The light, emanating from the right, strikes both the façade of the building and the path that leads up to it, leaving much of the left-hand side of the scene shadowed in a heavier grey wash.
Worst’s draughtsmanship is characterised by a number of features, including the use of grey wash in a wide range of shades, highlights formed through reserves of blank paper, and foliage and structural detail fashioned with deliberate strokes with the point of the brush. All of these tell-tale elements are at play in the present drawing.
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