From the Master of the Giants Album
(Active in 1779)
Private Collection, UK
London, Roland, Browse & Delbanco, 1949
This remarkable drawing was once part of the Master of the Giants album which was rediscovered in the 1940s. Although no signature was found on any of the forty sheets from the album, some were dated 1779. Many names have been put forward over the years as to who the artist behind this group of drawings was. Leonard Duke and Frederick Antal have suggested Prince Hoare (1755-1834) whilst Malcolm Rogers believes it was Fuseli's friend John Cartwright (fl. 1767-1808). Nancy Pressly in a Burlington Magazine article, 'James Jefferys and the 'Master of the Giants', published in 1977 put forward the name of James Jefferys as the most likely artist of the album. Jefferys was one of the most interesting and accomplished artists working in Rome in the 1770s. He drew his inspiration from Mannerist painting and classical sculpture but forged his own personal and individual vision of antiquity. His drawings are incredibly rare as he died at the young age of 33 from a cold in Soho, London.