barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

ascribed to Pietro Antonio Novelli (1729-1804)

A Music Party

Venice, about 1750

Pen and brown wash over black chalk

25 x 37.3 cm


This small scale domestic scene, known as a conservation piece, was characteristic of mid 18th century art.

In this example from Venice, the music party takes place during the annual carnival – the figure to the left wears the cauta or carnival mask. Finished drawings such as this were themselves aimed at the market for works for smaller domestic spaces. There is uncertainty about the identity of the author of this work. If it is by Novelli it dates from the early part of a career that took in book illustration, as well as history paintings.

Purchased in 1938 (No. 38.5)


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