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Drawing, Alexander the Great and Diogenes

This is a Drawing. It was created by Felice Giani. We acquired it in 1901. Its medium is pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, graphite on thick white laid paper . It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Rapidly rendered in seemingly effortless pen, this drawing of Alexander the Great visiting the philosopher Diogenes testifies to Giani’s strong command of classical vocabulary and visual expression, which he adapted to the tastes of his patrons. This preparatory drawing is for a series that Giani painted in the Palazzo Nagliati, in Ferrara, Italy.
Giovanni Piancastelli, a drawing teacher, collector, and curator of the Borghese collection in Rome, disposed of his drawings collection between 1901 and 1907. Using agents in Rome to preview the drawings, the Hewitt sisters recommended that the museum acquire about 3,700 mostly Italian decorative arts and architecture drawings in 1901. In 1938, the museum was able to largely reunite Piancastelli’s decorative drawings collection by acquiring about 8,700 drawings from Mrs. Edward D. Brandegee of Brookline, Massachusetts, who had originally purchased them in 1904.

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Cite this object as

Drawing, Alexander the Great and Diogenes; Felice Giani (Italian, 1758–1823); Italy; pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, graphite on thick white laid paper ; 1901-39-3346

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Hewitt Sisters Collect.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Alexander the Great and Diogenes |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 October 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>