Giuseppe Bossi - inv. 4751
Giuseppe Bossi, an important artist of the Italian Neoclassical period and a great friend of the sitter, made this drawing at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This can be deduced both by the technique, which ties in with works by the artist painted after his meeting in 1802 with Jacques Louis David (1748-1825), and by the features of Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (1774-1831). Marquis Trivulzio, Gian Giacomo’s grandfather, was one of the great leaders in Milan’s culture and an important art collector in the Napoleonic time. Heir to one of the largest Milanese collections, he dedicated his efforts above all to increasing the remarkable bibliographic legacy created by his ancestors and today in the Trivulziana library in the Castello Sforzesco in Milan.
Giuseppe Bossi, influenced by the French examples of David and Jean Baptiste Wicar (1762-1834), did his portraits on paper using almost exclusively, as in this case, black pencil. The alternation of fine strokes with thicker ones, the use of a soft but vigorous line and the absence of tones give his works a freshness and sharpness that is by no means inferior to that of his french colleagues. This is added to by the artist’s particular gift of grasping the most hidden aspects of the sitter’s character.
In particular this drawing is comparable in the formal elegance of its execution to some of Bossi’s graphic masterpieces such as, for example, the Portrait of a Lady in a private collection in Milan and the Portrait of Antonio Canova now in a collection in the Bergamo area.