Lot 8, "The
Virgin Annunciate," by Simone Martini, tempera on panel, gold ground in
an engaged frame, 11 1/2 by 8 1/8
By Carter B. Horsley
This Important Old Masters
auction January 26, 2012 at Sotheby's New York is highlighted by a
very, very rare Simone Martini, a fine Sandro Botticelli, a very nice
Anthony Van Dyck, an excellent Pieter de Hooch, a very good Fra
Bartommeo, and a good Cranach.
Lot 8, "The Virgin
Annunciate," by Simone Martini (circa 1284-1344) is an exquisite
tempera on panel and gold ground, 11 1/2 by 8 1/8 inches that has been
widely exhibited and published. It was once in the collection
of Adolphe Stoclet of Brussels, who also owned a very small painting by
Duccio that was recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for
more than $40 million. This painting. which is much more
attractive than the Duccio, has a very modest estimate of $3,000,000 to
sold for $4,114,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results
mentioned in this article. The price was an auction record
for Martini. Only about 54.65 percent of the 86 offered lots
in the first session were sold.
"Madaonna and Child with the Young Baptist, Saint Francis Receiving the
Stigmata in the Distance," by Botticell and studio, tempera on panel,
tondo, 47 5/8 inches in diameter
This painting once formed the right wing of a diptych. The
left wing has been lost. The painting is closely related to a
group of Annunciations by Simone, the most famous of which is the large
scale retable that was completed by the artist and his brother in-law
Lippo Memmo at the Uffizi, a work that the catalogue states "represents
a revolution in the depiction of the popular biblical scene....This
element of immediate, visceral human emotion is new....The Virgin's
contorted figure must have had a profound effect upon Simone's
19 is a fine tondo by Botticelli (1445-1510) and studio of the Madonna
and Child with the young Baptist with Saint Francis receiving the
Stigmata in the distrance. A tempera on panel, it measures 47
5/8 inches in diameter. It has a very modest estimate of
$1,000,000 to $1,500,000. It
sold for $4,562,500.
Lot 16, "The
Madonna and Child in a Landscape," by Circle of Rafaello Sanzio, called
Raphael, oil on panel, 11 3/8 by 8 1/4 inches
Lot 16 is an exquisite small
oil on panel of the Madonna and Child in a Landscape. The
catalogue states that is by Circle of Rafaello Sanzio, called Raphael
and adds that "this charming devotional panel...relates closely to a
Peurgino design and is strongly reminiscent of early works by Raphael."
It measures 11 3/8 by 8 1/4 inches. It adds that
there is a larger vision, formerly in the collection of Max
van Baden, which is tenatively attibuted to the young Raphael. The
lot has a very modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.
It sold for
$290,500. It is very difficult to not accept
this as either Perugino or Raphael.
Lot 6, "Saint
Peter," and Lot 7, "Saint Bartholomew," by Gentile da Fabriano, tempera
on panel with gold ground, 8 1/2 by 2 1/4 and 8 3/8 by 2 1/2 inches,
6 and 7 are two of a set of six recently discovered tempera on panels
by Gentile da Fabriano (circa 1380-1427). The catalogue entry
says "they most probably formed part of group of twelve
apostles of full-length format." The other in the group were
sold at Sotheby's New York Jauary 29, 2009. These two panels
measure approximately 8 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches. Each panel has
an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. Lot 6 sold for
$482,500. Lot 7 sold for $362,500.
Lot 10, "Madonna and Child," by
Quirizio di Giovanni da Murano, tempera on panel with gold ground, 25
1/2 by 16 inches.
Lot 10 is a very
lovely Madonna and Child by Quirizio di Giovanni da Murano (active in
Venice circa 1461-1478). A tempera on panel with gold ground,
it measures 25 1/2 by 16 inches. Little is known about the
artist other than he was in the workshop of Antonio Vivarini.
The lot has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $194,500.
"Madonna and Child," by Familiare del Boccati, oil and
tempera on panel, 25 by 17 5/8 inches
Lot 12 is attributed in the
catalogue to "Familiare del Boccati" (active in Lucca circa 1460-1480).
An oil and tempera on panel, it measures 25 by 17 5/8 inches.
John Pope Hennessey and A. S.Weller had attributed this work
to Francesco di Giorgio and the overall sweetness, palette and hair
treatment are certainly reminiscent of that artist's oeuvre.
The beauty of the Madonna's face, however, shows the
influence of Fra Filippo Lippi. It is a very pleasant work
despite the uncertainty of authorship. It has an estimate of
$250,000 to $350,000. It
was passed at $240,000.
Lot 11, "The
Expulstion of King Tarquinius,Superbus and his son Sextus from Rome,"
by TheMaster of Marradi, tempera, gilt and silver on panel, 16 1/8 by 25
Lot 11 is a nice tempera,
gilt and silver on panel that measures 16 1/8 by 25 1/4
inches and is attributed in the catalogue to The Master of Marradi who
was active in Florence during the second half of the`15th Century.
The entry notes its close similarity to two panels in the
Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and one in a
private collection. It adds that "according to Livy, the
overthrow of the monarchy was caused by the actions of Sextus, who
raped the noblewoman Lucretia," adding that "this event, and Lucretia's
subsequent suicide, kindled an already festering resentment against the
royal family, who were chased from the city, and thus occasioned the
founding the Republic." The work is part of the decoration of
a piece of furntiture such as a cassone, a marriage chest, or a
letuccio, a wedding bed. The lot has a conservative estimate
of $300,000 to $400,000. It
sold for $362,500.
"Portrait of a Young Lady," by Follower of The Master of the Holy
Blood," oil on panel, 13 5/8 by 10 3/8 inches
Lot 4 is a very lovely oil on
panel of a portrait of a young lady by a "Follower of the Master of the
Holy Blood." The catalogue notes that this work is a fragment
and is "based on the upper portion of a three-quarter length figure of
Saint Catherine that probably formed the right wing of a triptych.
That panel and its companion left wing are in the collection
of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The catalogue also notes that
Max J. Friedlander ascribed this work in 1928 to the Master of the Holy
Blood. Given the very high quality of this painting a full
attribution seems reasonable. The work is an oil on panel and
measures 13 5/8 by10 3/8 inches. It has an estimate of
$30,000 to $40,000. It
sold for $68,500.
Lot 15, "A
Processional Banner, The Presentation in the Temple," by Luca
Signorelli, distemper on canvas, 70 1/2 by 52 1/2 inches
15 is a large distemper on canvas that measures 70 1/2 by 52 1/2 inches
and is entitled "A Processional Banner, The Presentation in the
Temple." The catalogue states it is a work by Luca
Signorelli (circa 1450-1520). It has an estimate of $800,000
to $1,200,000. It
sold for $680,000.
Lot 57, "The Circumcision of
Christ," by Federico Barocci, oil on canvas, 32 1/8 by 25 1/4 inches
This work is related compositionally to the Montefelto
Altarpiece in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan by Piero della
Francesca, in whose studio Signorelli was known to have worked.
Over the years it has attrbiuted to many different artists.
It seems to bear little relationship to Signorelli's late
style which was quite bold and distinctive. The painting here
is more delicate and precise, especially in the treatment of the hands.
Several of the gathered saints have rather blank stares but
the Madonna and Child are quite impressive and lovely. Most
likely this is a work from Piero's studio but probably not by Piero and
not by Signorelli.
The auction has another work attributed to Signorelli Lot 20, "The
Madonna and Child," an oil on panel that measures 17 1/4 vby 11 1/4
inches. Its palette is very dark and the Child's head is very
awkward. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It was passed at $190,000.
22, "Saint Jerome in the Wilderness," by Fra Bartolommeo, oil on panel,
17 3/4 by 11 inches
Lot 22 is a
superb "Saint Jerome in the Wilderness" by Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517).
An oil on panel, it measures 17 3/4 by 11 inches and is
property from the collection of Dodie Rosenkrans. It has an estimate of
$1,500,000 to $2,000,000. It
sold for $4,898,500.
57 is a superb study by Federico Barocci (cira 1535-1612) for his large
altarpiece, The Circumcision of Christ," that is now in the Louvre.
An oil on canvas, it measures 32 1/8 by 25 1/4 inches.
It was once in the collection of Vincent Korda, who won an
Oscar for art direction of "The Thief of Baghdad." it has an
estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000. It failed to sell.
Lot 35, "The Triumph of David,"
by Domenico Tiepolo, oil on canvas, 38 1/8 by 51 5/8 inches
34 is a very fine and impressive oil on canvas by Domenico Tiepolo
(160-1635), a son of Jacopo Tintoretto. It is entitled
"TheTriumph of David" and measures 38 1/8 by 51 5/8 inches.
It has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $168,500.
28, "The Adoration of the Magi," by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, oil on oak
panel, 19 7/8 by 25 1/2 inch
28 is a very fine oil on oak panel sketch of "The Adoration of the
Magi" by Sir Petger Paul Rubens (1577-1640), It measures 19
7/8 by 25 1/2 inches. It has a modest estimate of $2,000,000
to $3,000,000. It
sold for $2,994,500. There is another version
in a private collection. This work, which is a study for a
larger version now in the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, was
"rediscovered" in 2010.
Lot 26, "Rest
on the Flight Into Egypt," by Sir Anthony van Dyck, oil on panel en
grisaille, 15 1/8 by 12 3/4 inches
26 is a very fine en grisaille oil on panel by Sir Anthony van Dyck of
"Rest on the Flight Into Egypt." It measures 15 1/8 by 12 3/4
inches. It has an estimate of $3,000,000 to $3,500,000.
It was passed
at $2,700,000. This painting is based on the
artist's own"TheVirgin and Child" in the Royal Collection at Windsor
that was inspired by Titian's "Madonna and Child with St. Stephen" in
Lot 24, "The
Lion and the Mouse," by Frans Snyders and studio, oil on canvas, 55 1/4
by 75 3/4 inches
Lot 24 is a large and very
dramatic painting of "The Lion and The Mouse" by Frans Snyders
(1579-1657) and studio. An oil on canvas, it measures 55 1/4
by 75 3/4 inches. It has a modest estimate of $250,000 to
$350,000. It sold
for $662,500. There are several other
versions extant of this scene from Aesop's Fables. This work
was once owned by Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother and King of
Naples and Spain.
"Reclining male nude," by Guido Cagnacci, oil on canvas, 25 1/8 by 31
Lot 47 is a very striking oil
on canvas of a reclining male nude by Guido Cagnacci (1601-1663).
It measures 25 1/8 by 31 5/8 inches. It has an
estimate of $1,000,000 to$1,500,000.
It sold for $1,142,500.
"Portrait of a Woman," by Lucas Cranach the Younger oil on canvas,
transferred from panel, 22 1/2 by 19 inches
Lot 3 is a very nice portrait
of a woman by Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586). It is an
oil on canvas transferred from panel and measures 22 1/2 by 19 inches.
It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $362,500.
A 1932 certificate from Max J.Freidlander attributed the work
to Lucas Cranach the Elder.
"Interior with a Child Feeding a Parrot," by Pieter de Hooch, oil on
canvas, 31 1/4 by 26 inches
Lot 34, "Lucretia," is a good oil on panel by Lucas Cranach the Elder
(1472-1553). It has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.
It sold for
56, "Interior With a Child Feeding a Parrot," is a superb and very
charming oil on canvas by Pieter de Hooch (162-1684). It
measures 31 1/4 by 26 inches and is property from the estate of Lady
Forte. It has been widely published. It has an
estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000. It sold for $3,666,500.
58, "Venice, a View of the Churches of the Redentore and San Giacomo
with a Moored Man-of-War, Gondolas and Barges," by Canaletto, oil on
canvas, 23 by 37 inches
58 is a good Venetian scene by Canaletto (1697-1768) that is a view of
the Churches of the Redentore and San Giacomo with a moored man-of-war
at one side in the foreground. The oil on canvas measures 23
inches. The painting is property of the estate of Lady Forte,
an estimate of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000. It sold for $5,682,500.
"Self-portrait," by Benjamin West, oil on canvas, 31 by 26 3/4 inches
Lot 72 is a fine
self-portrait by Benjamin West (1738-1820). An oil on canvas,
it measures 31 by 26 3/4 inches. It is similar to a version
in the Baltimore Museum of Art. It has an estimate of $250,000
failed to sell.