Black chalk, on light grey paper; 210 x 404 mm. The drawing perhaps represents the martyrdom of a saint or a scene from ancient mythology.
Antonio Domenico Gabbiani was first trained by the Medici court portrait painter Giusto Suttermans and then by Vincenzo Dandini. In 1673 Gabbiani travelled to Rome, where he studied for three years under Ciro Ferri and Ercole Ferrata at the Accademia Fiorentina. He responded in particular to the paintings of Pietro da Cortona and Carlo Maratti who were both to be important influences on him. Though not precocious, Gabbiani became one of the most noted painters from the Accademia. After a period in Venice with the portrait painter Sebastiano Bombelli, he was in Florence in 1680. By 1684, the year in which he executed an Annunciation for the Palazzo Pitti, he was an independent painter. In Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici Gabbiani found a particularly loyal patron. The students of Gabbiani included Ignazio Enrico Hugford, Benedetto Luti, Giovanni Battista Ranieri del Pace, Tommaso Redi.