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Giovanni Battista Mengardi

(1738 Padua – 1796 Venice)

Abraham Sacrificing Isaac. Etching. 11 x 15.9 cm. De Vesme 1.

Giovanni Battista Mengardi, a painter and printmaker from Padua, studied under Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. He distinguished himself as a painter of religious compositions in both his native city and Venice and was involved in the decoration of secular buildings such as the Palazzo Manfrin in Venice. His printed oeuvre is of the utmost rarity, comprising just two etchings. The present work Abraham Sacrificing Isaac has been executed in a very fluid and subtly differentiated technique that produces velvety soft, tonal transitions. Mengardi’s stylistic idiom with its baroque verve and pathos seems more archaic that that of his teacher Tiepolo and reminiscent of the Seicento masters in Rome. Equally conspicuous are the stylistic borrowings from the printed oeuvre of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. Mengardi is a charming, retrospective Little Master whose death in 1796, a year before the demise of the Serenissima, appears almost fitting. 

A superb impression of great clarity, with thread margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in very good condition.

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