The Italian painter, Giuseppe Chiesa, arrived in Minorca with his father and sister in 1728 from Livorno in Italy. They settled in Port Mahon. Chiesa painted panoramic views of Minorca, such as the present watercolour, and also portraits. Little is known of Chiesa’s life and patrons but interestingly the present work is signed with the British ‘Joseph’ rather than Guiseppe, presumably because Minorca was under British control at the time. Minorca had been captured by the British from the Spanish in the early years of the eighteenth century and remained so until June 1756 when it came under French control in the early months of the seven years’ war. However, it was returned to the British in 1763 under the terms of the treaty of Versailles.
Condition: Treated by an accredited paper conservator, the drawing has greatly improved with reduction of planar distortions, discolouration, staining and foxing. The stability has also improved although some damages are still clearly visible. Paper consists of 2 sheets joined vertically down the centre, lined with Japanese mulberry paper. The condition is not perfect but if cared for will last a lifetime.