Verschaffelt

Verschaffelt - Nr 01

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - Fama.


Sketch for a façade sculpture. Grey washed ink drawing in brown with red chalk and pencilled grid lines and bordering in Indian ink.


On the lower edge, written in brown ink the measurements "12 Piedt de Mannheim" (trimmed) as well as the measurements in pencil. Verso, traces of grey wash. On delicate grey blue laid paper with watermark "IFLNST".¹ Size: 33,1 x 18,8 cm. On the left hand margin mounted on original pale yellow coloured laid paper base with watermark "Crowned coat of arms with bend" as well as marking verso in brown ink "A. No. 23". Minimal signs of folding.


Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

Following the death of his predecessor Paul Egell, also court sculptor to the elector Carl Theodor, Verschaffelt initially completed the sculptural adornments for the Jesuit church in Mannheim. Egell had only completed the gable relief, so that his successor became responsible for the working out of the sculptures on the façade, the high altar, the side altar and the holy water font.

 

In a payment order of the court chamber from the year 1757, there is already a mention of a statue, representing Fama.² Fama, according to old Roman poetry, originally epitomised the reputation of a person; in later times she represented the allegory of glory. The drawing at hand, depicting the goddess seated on a lion with a trombone, flanked by a cherub, is a direct preparatory drawing for the sculpture, which was later executed and placed on the ledge of the middle window over the portal of the Jesuit church. A particular detail is the coat of arms with the ligated monogram "CT"of the elector Carl Theodor in the centre of the depiction.

¹ Cf. Jaffé 1935, Nr 14a. Paper mill Johann Friedrich Lorch, Neustadt.
² Cf. E. Hofmann, P. A. von Verschaffelt, Mannheim 1982, P. 54ff and No. 32.

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 02

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - The electress Elisabeth Auguste as the patroness of sculpture.


Ink drawing in black brown with red chalk with alternations in the area of the coat of arms and with bordering in Indian ink.
On delicate grey blue laid paper, with watermark "IFLNST". ¹ Size: 32,8 x 19,8 cm. On the left hand margin original mounting on pale yellow coloured laid paper base with watermark "Crowned coat of arms" (fragment) as well as marking verso in brown ink "A. No. 39". Minimal signs of folding.

Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

In 1742, the electress Elisabeth Auguste from the house of Pfalz-Sulzbach married her cousin Carl Theodor, who shortly afterwards became the successor of the elector Carl Philipp. The couple were seen as the most art-appreciative electors of their time. Their residence town of Mannheim counted as the most important art metropolis north of the Alps. Friedrich Schiller described it as the "Paradise of the Muses". The drawing at hand shows Elisabeth Auguste seated on a throne in an allegorical manner.

 

In a protective gesture she enfolds a female figure, at whose feet lie the attributes of sculpturing and who points towards a shield, held by the electress, depicting the image of man wearing a helmet. What is interesting is that Verschaffelt himself worked on an older version of the oval drawing with a depiction of the man with a helmet. The depiction, which lies underneath the alteration backed on to the top margin, shows a female figure as a bust in profile, regarding a sculpture of a female figure with a diadem, also shown in profile. The drawing is similar in its representation to the medallions, which were embossed for the wedding of the young couple.²

¹ Cf. Jaffé 1935, No. 14a. Paper mill Johann Friedrich Lorch, Neustadt.
² Cf. Lebenslust und Frömmigkeit 1999, Vol. 2, No. 1.1.12. 

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 03

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - "Clemente".

 

 

Ink drawing in black brown with red chalk and with bordering in pencil.
Titled in pencil. On chamois coloured laid paper. Size: 22,2 x 15,3 cm. With a few tiny holes.

Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

Elisabeth Auguste, the wife of the elector Carl Theodor, is shown here as the charitable mother of the State. In other compositions, she is shown as the goddess Minerva or as the personification of generosity (Magnanimità). Her attributes for this are the sceptre, the tamed palatine lion and the horn of plenty.

 

In the drawing at hand, the horn of plenty is replaced by an olive branch - as a sign of a peaceful reign for the electoral couple. The marking "Clemente" alludes to one of the noblest virtues for an electress - charity and goodness. The subject of the drawing takes up on the iconography that Verschaffelt had already used in the preparatory sketch for a standing alcove statue. The drawing at hand served as a composition sketch for the portrait of the Mannheim court painter Carl Heinrich Brand.¹ 


¹ Cf. Städtisches Reiss-Museum Mannheim, P. A. von Verschaffelt, Mannheim, 1976, No. 38 b and c. Lebenslust und Frömmigkeit 1999, Vol. 2, No. 2.0.2. Cf. E. Hofmann, P. A. von Verschaffelt, Mannheim 1982, No. 154. 

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 04

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - Apollo with lyre.

 

Sketch for a statue. Indian ink drawing with red chalk and with bordering.
On grey blue laid paper with watermark "IFLNST".¹ Size: 16,7 x 15,2 cm. On the left margin original mounting on pale yellow coloured laid paper base with watermark "Crowned coat of arms with lily" (trimmed) as well as marking verso in brown ink "A. No. 169".

Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

The sculptural adornments of the Schwetzinger castle gardens from the years 1761-1779 represent Verschaffelt's prime works. Originally the statue in the Temple of Apollo was planned as a seated image, but was later executed as a standing image.

 

What is remarkable about the drawing at hand, as well as with the executed statue, is that Apollo is on both occasions holding the lyre in his left hand as his most important attribute. This was already criticised by Verschaffelt's contemporaries. The artist had used a marble block designated for another sculpture, and therefore had to take into consideration the measurements of the block at hand when executing the statue of Apollo.²

¹ Cf. Jaffé 1935, No. 14a. Paper mill Johann Friedrich Lorch, Neustadt.
² Cf. E. Hofmann, P. A. von Verschaffelt, Mannheim 1982, No. 283f. 

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 05

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - Vulcanus, standing.

 

Sketch for a statue. Ink drawing in brown with red chalk.
On grey blue laid paper with watermark "Crowned double C".¹ Size: 19,4 x 13 cm. On the left margin mounted on original beige coloured laid paper base with a fragment of a watermark (Crowned coat of arms ?) as well as marking verso in brown ink "F. No. 55".

Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

The allegorical depiction shows Vulcanus as the symbol of the element of fire, standing at an anvil with hammer and tongs, at his feet rests a hunting dog. The catalogue of the Reiss-Museum, Mannheim, lists a sketch with the inventory number "LBW 1974/2/52" showing an almost identical subject, which differs only marginally in the posture and alignment of the figure.²

¹ Cf. Jaffé 1930, No. 33.
² Cf. Städtisches Reiss-Museum Mannheim, P. A. von Verschaffelt, Mannheim, 1976, No. 65 a. 

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 06

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - 

Vulcanus, seated.

 

Sketch for a statue. Indian ink drawing with red chalk and bordering. 

On the lower margin marked in brown ink "Vulcain qui decouvri le feu et fuit le poème". On grey blue laid paper with watermark "IFLNST".¹ Size: 16,6 x 17,6 cm. On the left margin mounted on original pale yellow coloured laid paper base as well as marking verso in brown ink "F. No. 282".

Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

In using the Roman divinities in the Schwetzinger castle garden, Verschaffelt created an allegorical depiction of the four elements. So Juno personified air, Cybele the earth, Neptune the water and Vulcanus the fire. The sketch on hand, which shows the seated god by a blazing fire in the company of a small aiding cherub, did not find a direct sculptural conversion. The definitive version of Vulcanus, which can be found in the main alley of the castle garden, shows a simplified version. The god is shown as a prostrate single figure, and can only be recognised by his attributes of a hammer and Phrygian hat.²

¹ Cf. Jaffé 1935, No. 14a. Paper mill Johann Friedrich Lorch, Neustadt.
² Cf. E. Hofmann, P. A. von Verschaffelt, Mannheim 1982, No. 272ff. 

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 07

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - 

Dolphin fountain.

 

Sketch for a water gargoyle. Ink drawing in black brown with red chalk and with bordering in black brown ink.
Verso with further ink drawing in black brown with red chalk: sketch for a dolphin fountain (alternative). With measurements in pencil. On grey blue laid paper. Size: 15,5 x 19,2 cm. Original mounting on left margin on pale grey coloured laid paper base as well as marking verso in brown ink "D. No. 9".

Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

The sketch on hand shows a dolphin with two playing cherubs, who crown upon a stylised head in shell adornment. 

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 09

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - Glaucus and Scylla.


Sketch for fountain figures. Ink drawing in brown with red chalk with bordering.
Original marking in pencil "Glocus et Cella" or rather "Idée pour le jardin de Schwetzingen". On grey blue laid paper with watermark "...nst" as well as with a further, not identified watermark. Size: 28,1 x 28,3 cm. On the left margin original mounting on pale yellow coloured laid paper base with watermark "Crowned coat of arms with bend" as well as marking verso in brown ink "DA (ligated) No. 15" With slight folding.
Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

The sketch on hand shows a couple fleeing from a pack of hunting dogs onto a rock. Ovid, at the beginning of the 14th book of Metamorphosis, tells the story of the transformation of Glaucus and Scylla, by the sorceress Circe, into a dangerous reef before the coast of Sicily. This theme already appeared in the first list of the sculptural program for the Schwetzinger castle garden in 1766, and was planned as a group of figures for the grand basin on the ground floor.¹ This constellation no longer appears in a statement from the court architect Nicolas de Pigage to the works of Verschaffelts in 1773. Its execution probably became superfluous, when several statues were obtained from the estate of the deceased King Stanislaw I Lesczynski of Poland, amongst these, the Arion group by Barthélémy Guibal for the grand basin.

¹ Cf. E. Hofmann, P. A. von Verschaffelt, Mannheim 1982, P. 214ff. 

 

Verschaffelt - Nr 11

 

Peter Anton von Verschaffelt (Gent 1710 - 1793 Mannheim) - Scribe in his library.

 

Ink drawing in black brown and red chalk with bordering in pencil.
On grey blue laid paper with watermark "IFLNST".¹ Size: 22,3 x 17,4 cm. On the left margin original mounting on blue coloured laid paper base with watermark "Crowned coat of arms with lily" (trimmed) as well as marking verso in brown ink "A. No. 59". Minimally foxed.

Provenance: Private collection, Baden-Württemberg, acquired in the Stuttgart art market in 1974.

With the four lines of French text, Verschaffelt explains the predestination of human beings to be placed by fate at the right or wrong place. "L'on fait et ont défais, et rien ne reste en place / mon destien, et talent, etait pour la becasse / le caprice qui rend la plupart des homes déplacés / fait que le genie du vray Talent en est fauché ". Represented here is a scribe between an owl and a genius, thus showing two differing roads of life.

¹ Cf. Jaffé 1935, No. 14a. Paper mill Johann Friedrich Lorch, Neustadt. 

 

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