Giovanni Battista Cavalcasselle (1819-1897), the founder of modern Italian art-historical studies, used drawing as a crucial instrument for his art historical research, which issued in several fundamental texts written in collaboration with the British connoisseur Joseph Archer Crowe (1825-1896). Cavalcaselle drew some noteworthy sketches and took important notes about the technique, the conservation, the attribution and the provenance of some specific paintings placed all around Europe. These materials, donated in 1904 to the Marciana Library by Angela Rovea, his widow, enhance the comprehension of the ways in which Cavalcaselle, as well as his editorial partner Crowe, studied and evaluated drawing, painting and etching skills.
Fourteen manuscripts – It. IV, 2024 – 2037 (=12265-12278) – and more than 500 books, thanks to a major and support grant from MondoMostre-Skira is now available on the web portal The Cavalcaselle Collection (Fondo Cavalcaselle):
This site will help scholars to improve the understading of how Cavalcaselle’s method challenged experts in relation to style and technique of the most importan artists in the art history: Antonello da Messina, Bellini, Raffaello, Mantegna, Titian.
The collection was cataloged by Susy Marcon, put online by Orsola Braides, Umberto Ciotola and the Treviso AD-System company.