Enfilade

Carlo Orsi-Trinity Fine Art at TEFAF 2019

Posted in Art Market by Editor on March 13, 2019

From the press release:

Carlo Orsi-Trinity Fine Art at TEFAF
Maastricht, 16–24 March 2019

Giovanni Battista Foggini, Portrait of Marguerite Louise d’Orléans, 1687, marble, 77 cm.

This 1687 marble portrait bust portrays Marguerite Louise of Orléans, wife of Cosimo III de’ Medici, the enfant terrible of the Medici dynasty. A free-spirited woman, Marguerite Louise, although she bore Cosimo three heirs, never submitted emotionally to the marriage, came to despise her husband, his family and the Court in Florence, and made Cosimo’s life miserable. Eventually she obtained a separation, returned to France, and lived as she pleased, bringing even her cousin King Louis XIV to despair at her outrageous behaviour.

The marble bust is offered by Carlo Orsi-Trinity Fine Art, at TEFAF Maastricht with several fresh discoveries: previously unpublished documents clarifying that it was commissioned by the Medici; that it is a fully autograph work by Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652–1725), a contention borne out by specific payments made to the sculptor; and that it was carved at an earlier date than formerly suggested.

It is a one of a series of eight masterful busts that celebrates the family of Ferdinando II of Florence, including his Cardinal brothers and his son Cosimo and the future Grand Duchess Marguerite. This is the last bust from the group to remain on the market, as all of the others are now with European and American public collections, including the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Regarding its commission and original location, the bust is mentioned along with the other pieces in the group in inventories of the Villa di Lappeggi, the country residence of Cardinal Francesco Maria de’ Medici, brother to Ferdinand II, immediately after his death in 1711. Research by Carlo Orsi-Trinity Fine Art has found the record of payments to the artist Foggini, showing that the busts were executed between August 1681 and 15 December 1687. The final bust to be delivered was that of Marguerite, who by then had been living back in France for 12 years. Its likeness was probably taken by Foggini from existing images of the Grand Duchess already in the family collections; in fact it is highly likely to be a carved version of a now lost portrait of Marguerite Louise by court portraitist Justus Sustermans, known to us thanks to an engraving by Adriaen Haelwegh.

The group dates to a time when Foggini was heavy influenced by Bernini, the artist previously believed to be the author of these pieces. Among the notable owners of the present bust is the famous 19th-century collector and dealer Stefano Bardini, whose clients included Isabella Gardner Stewart and John Pierpont Morgan. Most recently the bust became the prized possession of Alessandro Contini Bonaccossi, whose collection is now a public museum in Florence. The bust will be offered at TEFAF Maastricht by Carlo Orsi-Trinity Fine Art for an asking price in the region of €3,000,000.

Note (added 23 March 2019) — A second press release (available via Art Daily) notes the sale of the bust: “Carlo Orsi confirmed the sale to a new private European client for a seven-figure sum after it received substantial interest from collectors and museums world-wide.”

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From TEFAF:

TEFAF Maastricht to Host Highlights from Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden ahead of Museum Openings Later This Year

TEFAF will host 23 highlights from both the Paraderäume (State Apartments) of Dresden’s Residenzschloss (Royal Palace) and the Semperbau (Semper Building), home to the Gemäldegalerie (Old Masters Picture Gallery) and Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection) all of which form part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections), in the loan exhibition hosted within TEFAF Paper at TEFAF Maastricht 2019. The exhibition will be a prelude to both the opening of the Paraderäume in September 2019 and the reopening of the Semperbau in December 2019 . . .

More information is available here»

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