This intricate and highly-finished drawing is a fine example of Cantagallina's draughtsmanship in the years immediately after his 1612-13 tour of the Netherlands, Belgium and Flanders. He had returned to Tuscany by 1615 and the present sheet is one of two studies of the village of Pratieghi which he executed in 1616. The other drawing, in the British Museum, shows the village from a slightly different perspective and is also inscribed and dated (inv. 1955,0117.1; British Museum, London, Landscape in Italy, 1984, no. 17). Pratieghi is a small village that lies just within the Tuscan border with Emilia-Romagna. It became part of the Republic of Florence in 1490.
This drawing comes from an album of over a hundred landscape drawings, formerly in the collection of the scholar and antiquary Dr. Henry Wellesley (1791-1866), nephew of the Duke of Wellington, that appeared at auction in London in 1954. Although inscribed 'Vedute di Toscana di Jacopo Ligozzi', the album was in fact largely made up of highly finished drawings by Cantagallina of various dates, several of which were signed. The album was acquired by the dealer Hans Calmann and the drawings were dispersed over the next several years.
Signature: Inscribed 'Piene di Pratreghi ad 15 di luglio 1616'
The Rev. Dr. Henry Wellesley, Oxford; Sotheby's, London, 25 June-10 July 1866, 6th day of sale, part of lot 954, 'A portfolio' (as by Jacopo Ligozzi) (£1.15s. to Noseda).
Sir David Kelly; Hodgson's, London, 26 November 1954, part of lot 596 (as Jacopo Ligozzi).
with Hans Calmann, London; where purchased by the present owner.