Multa petentibus / desunt multa. Bene est, cui Deus obtulit / parca, quod satis est manu. Francesco / PEDRO MAGGIOTTO, Francesco.
Polenta & Cheese in Venice
GASTRONOMY.
Italy, Nicolo Cavalli, c. 1770s

Multa petentibus / desunt multa. Bene est, cui Deus obtulit / parca, quod satis est manu.

[23 x 30 cm printed surface], Copperplate engraving. Narrow margins, a few unobtrusive folds, on laid paper with ‘three-moon’ watermark, a fine, richly inked strike.

Rare 18th-century Venetian engraving of a kitchen scene after a genre painting by Francesco Maggiotto (1738-1805), son and pupil of the painter Domenico Fedeli (1713-94), himself a student of Giambattista Piazzetta (1682-1754). The print depicts a peasant family preparing their repast, a humble meal of polenta and grated cheese. Intent on their work, these contadini seem pleased with their supper, and at the foot of the engraving a caption taken from one of Horace’s Odes suggest that they are right to be: “Those who long for much are in want of much: Happy is he to whom god has given, with sparing hand, as much as is enough” (Carmina, book 3, XVI, lines 42-44).

Maggiotto’s compositions typically show the influence of his immediate Venetian forebears Giambattista Tiepolo (1696-1779) and Pietro Longhi (1702-1785), but the present genre painting can be seen to refer back the ‘lowlife’ pictures pioneered by the Carracci, Caravaggio and others at the turn of the seventeenth century.

The engraving was executed by Francesco Pedro (1740-1806), who produced numerous separately issued prints after Maggiotto (each quite rare today) through the publisher Nicolò Cavalli (1730-1822).

 

* Benezit VII.62 (Maggiotto), VIII.186 (Pedro)

Price: $1,450.00

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