Emanuel von Baeyer

Two Studies of Putti

Franz-Xaver Karl Palko
1814 Plombieres – 1897 Paris

Pen and brown ink. Size of sheet: 17.6 x 17.2 cm. Verso: Drapery study in black chalk. Inscribed in ink on the verso F.A. Palcko fec and annotated Joseph et Putiphar.

Beautiful characteristic drawing in pen and ink over traces of black chalk which belongs to the so called series of ‘Federstücke’ of the later Vienna period (1745 – 49). Models for drawings of this kind can be found in the oeuvre of Paul Troger the Elder (1698 – 1762) but, as Pavel Preiss noted, there is also a similarity to drawings by Pietro Testa (1611 – 1650). Testa’s influence is particularly noticeable in our drawing. There are several black chalk sketches on the reverse, including a drapery or figure study and a sketch of the head of a woman pleading. The verso is comparable to a similarly structured sheet of sketches in Prague (K.30, verso). The inscription on the verso is by a contemporary hand, although we are unaware of any of Palko's works treating the subject of Joseph and Potiphar. It is rare to find a drawing by Palko in a private collection; according to Preiss Palko’s entire drawn oeuvre consists of 51 sheets (Preiss, K1–K51).