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Ballo d'un Croata (Dance of a Croatian)

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Ballo d'un Croata (Dance of a Croatian)
  • Description

    Design for a stage-set with a couple dancing; landscape with a ruined bridge depicted on a screen behind. c.1746/7
    Pen and black ink with grey wash

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1746-1747 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 248 Missing value
    • Width: 371 Missing value
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed in black ink underneath the lower border, 'Ballo d'un Croata' and in the top right corner, '9'
  • Curator's comments

    This is one of two drawings from a French private collection which appear to be designs for a series of prints. The companion drawing (see Förster cat no. 8) of a stage-set with actors waiting for the candles to be lit behind the curtains, is inscribed underneath, 'Opere Italiane Rapre / Sentate in Augusta. / disegnati da Giouanni Esaia Nilson: Pittore'. In the centre of the inscription, is a heraldic shield, with a bust on the top, dated in the centre, 1746 / 1747.

    Text from the P&D Friends magazine, Jan 2004:
    'Our most recent purchase to be made through the Patrons of Old Master Drawings is this unusual drawing by a major exponent of the south German Rococo style, an area of the collection which we are keen to develop. This is the most important drawing by Nilson, a designer of ornament, miniature painter and print publisher, in the collection. It complements numerous purchases made recently of his ornamental prints, one of which represents a group of children acting commedia dell'arte scenes in a similarly lively manner to the scene represented here'.

    Lit: Galerie Sabrina Förster, 'Meisterzeichnungen 17-19 Jahrhundert', Katalog no 41, 2004, no. 9; A. Griffiths, 'Recent acquisitions at the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, London, 2002-2005', 'The Burlington Magazine', cxlviii, 2006, p.233


  • Location

    German Roy XVIIIc

  • Exhibition history

    2007 Jun-Nov, BM, Recent Acquisitions Part I, no cat.

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. According to Sabrina Förster, the previous owner ('French private collection') acquired the drawing in Germany before WW2.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Design for a stage-set with a couple dancing; landscape with a ruined bridge depicted on a screen behind.
Pen and black ink with grey wash

Design for a stage-set with a couple dancing; landscape with a ruined bridge depicted on a screen behind. Pen and black ink with grey wash

Image description



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Object reference number: PDO79382

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