Enfilade

At Christie’s: Old Masters Week in New York

Posted in Art Market by Editor on February 8, 2012

At Christie’s, New York, 25 January 2012, Old Master Paintings (Sale 2534)

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Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, Portrait of a Gentleman, oil on canvas, 39 x 29 in. (99 x 73.6 cm.) — estimate, $400,000-600,000, sold for $866,500.

Three-quarter-length, in a red coat and a blue waistcoat with gold embroidery, holding a book and a tricorn hat, with a bronze statuette of the Venus de’ Medici on the table, the Colosseum in the distance.

Provenance

(Possibly) by descent within the Tew family.
Mr. J. Eyles; Christie’s, London, 17 December 1904, lot 111, as ‘Van Loo’ (36 gns. to Shepherd).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 5 July 1984, lot 272.
with Leger Galleries, London, 1990, where acquired by the present owner.

While the sitter in this portrait remains unidentified, his dress – particularly his scarlet coat – suggests that he was one of the many Grand Tourists who had their likeness captured by Batoni during their stay in Rome. The perfect souvenir of an educational voyage to the Italian peninsula, this painting presents the young gentleman as the consummate, erudite aristocrat. . . .

The full entry is available here»

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Giambattista Tiepolo, The Arrival of Henry III at the Villa Contarini, oil on canvas, 28¼ x 42 in. (71.7 x 106.7 cm.) — estimate, $4-6million, sold for $5.9million.

Provenance

Count Francesco Algarotti, Venice, by 1756.
Wilhelm Rothschild, Schloss Grünberg, Frankfurt am Main, and (presumably) by descent to his daughter, Adelheid de Rothschild, and by descent in the Rothschild family;
Confiscated in Paris by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg following the Nazi Occupation of Paris, May 1940;
Acquired for Hermann Goering on 4 December 1941 (inv. RM 1150);
Transferred to the Munich Collecting Point by Western Allied Forces (MCCP no. 6759);
Repatriated to Paris on 19 September 1946. Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Château de Prégny, Geneva, until 1980.
with Colnaghi’s, London, 1981, where acquired by S.T. Fee, Oklahoma City; Christie’s, New York, 9 May 1985, lot 20.
with Newhouse Galleries, New York, from whom acquired by the present owner.

Henri de Valois (1551-1589), third son of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, was elected King of Poland in May 1573, but it would not be until January of the following year that he would arrive at the Polish border and 21 February 1574 before he would be crowned in Warsaw. Less than four months later, Henry would abdicate the throne and depart Poland in unseemly haste, returning to France upon the news that his elder brother, Charles IX, had died and the French throne was his to claim. He was to be crowned Henri III, King of France, at the Cathedral of Reims on 13 February 1575.

Henri returned home by way of Vienna and Venice. He arrived in Venice on 18 July 1574 and stayed for ten days of official festivities and sightseeing. His welcome in front of the church of San Nicolò on the Lido was a lavish affair for which Palladio erected a triumphal arch and open loggia supported by ten Corinthian columns. This temporary loggia was decorated with scenes from the young king’s life painted by Tintoretto and Veronese and the ceiling was decorated with winged victories carrying wreaths as if to crown Henri when he passed beneath them. . . .

The full entry is available here»

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Andrea Locatelli, The Roman Forum, oil on copper, 29 x 37 in. (73.7 x 94 cm.) — estimate, $300,000-500,000, sold for $1,082,500.

Provenance

Liechtenstein family collections, Vienna.
with Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London, 1997-1998, from whom acquired by Christian B. Peper.

This luminous view of the Roman Forum was almost certainly painted as a pendant to the View of the Piazza Navona with a market (fig. 1), signed and dated 1733, that was given to the Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna by the estate of Prince Johann of Liechtenstein in 1881. Both compositions share the same dimensions and large copper support, which Locatelli only used on rare occasions. In fact, both panels stand out in the artist’s oeuvre as part of a remarkably small group of topographically accurate view paintings. In addition to the Vienna panel, Locatelli’s other known vedute reali are the pair of large perspective views of the projected Castello di Rivoli that the artist painted for another illustrious patron, (Castello di Racconigi, Turin), a view of the Tiber with the Ponte Rotto (Städtische’s Museum-Gemäldegalerie, Wiesbaden), and a View of the Tiber with the Castel Sant’Angelo (private collection, Rome).

The Vienna panel represents the same view from the piano nobile of the Palazzo Massimo Lancelotti that, working a generation earlier, Gaspare Vanvitelli had employed for a series of paintings datable from 1688 to 1723 (for an example, see lot 39 of this sale). In no small part due to Bernini’s unforgettable Four Rivers Fountain and the magnificent undulating façade of Borromini’s Sant’Agnese church, that the Piazza Navona became one of the most popular squares in Rome in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and was often represented by view painters. The present composition appears to be entirely conceived by Locatelli and its pairing with the Piazza Navona is uncommon – views of the Piazza Navona were most frequently paired with views of the piazza of Saint Peter’s. . . .

The full entry is available here»