The desire for framed antiques
They often go hand in hand: the passion for paintings and that desire to explore the well trodden paths of a world that has all but disappeared, to find the most important auction houses in the world, gathering bargains and valuables with opportunities for a safe investment. On sale at the London auction house of Bonhams is a 89x137.5 cm work depicting “The Piazza San Marco” in Venice, an oil on canvas that is comparable with works of classical Venetian Vedutism with the Arcadian sentimentalism of a static landscape. Painted by Giovanni Battista Cimaroli, an eighteenth-century painter from Brescia, who moved firstly to Venice and then to England, it has an estimate of £80/120,000 and is auctioned in Bonhams’ December (5th) sale. No connection, of course, to Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) and his auxiliary cartoon of the “Auxiliary cartoon for the Head of a Young Apostle” (1519-20), which, with an estimate of £10-15 million and coming from the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, attract plenty of attention in the sale in London ( also 5th December) at Sotheby’s. This beautiful drawing demonstrates the work that the master from Urbino carried out to perfect shading, the poses and lighting for a figure in the “Transfiguration“, which was commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici between 1516 and 1517: 375 x 278 mm of charm. The painting “View of the Campi Flegrei”, attributed to Hendrik Voogd, with its muted colours and elegant style, and an estimate of €40,000/50,000, was sold for €51,440, confirming the high quality offers of Farsetti Arte of Prato, who, from a distance, keeps watch on Christie’s of New York. With an estimate of US$4/6,000,000, the crowded court scene of “The arrival of Henry III at Villa Contarini”, oil on canvas (71.7x106.7), in which Giambattista Tiepolo paid homage to the visit of the French sovereign on his return to Paris from Poland, was sold by the auction house for US$5,906,500. Empathy for the human condition is, instead, seen through “A man in a gorget and cap“(The Pieter and Olga Dreesmann Collection), a seventeenth-century masterpiece in which, with realistic portraiture and psychological intuition, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn celebrates the splendour of the Dutch Golden Age. The oil on ebony wood board work was sold for £8,441,250 (€10,492,474), against an estimate of £8/12,000,000, at the Old Masters & British Paintings Evening Auction at Christie’s London (July 2012). In the tradition of Valenciennes’ paysage historique and paying homage to Ingres, the transparently illuminated figures in “The infancy of Bacchus” (1835 circa) by Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé reveals his delicate technique. This oil on canvas work is proposed by Porro & C. Art Consulting with a estimate of €90/110,000. Pandolfini Casa d'Aste of Florence, instead, recently sold for €85,000 (against an estimate of €10/15,000), a seventeenth-century oil on canvas work, 180 x 124 cm, depicting a very young “St. John the Baptist” cloaked in a red drape with lamb rampant by the Circle of Massimo Stanzione, together with an Arcadian triumph portraying a grand natural arch of cedar, orange and lemon trees strewn with roses, lilies, carnations and vases of tulip over a floor of blue and white majolica with dancing putti extolling the virtues of a creation imbued with aromas, colours and perfumes entitled “Monumental garden with putti, flowers, citrus trees and grotto with fountain” oil on canvas, 180.5 x 233,5 cm, by Giovan Battista Ruoppolo (1629-1693), one of the main exponents of Neapolitan Baroquestyle still life paintings, between Decorativism and Brueghel, which from an
estimate of €50/70,000 reached €106,250. But it is the Viennese auction house Dorotheum, with a catalogue of 800 Old Master Paintings that achieved a total sale price of 7 million euro at the end of October, which confirms the trend of favouring quality, the state of preservation and provenance of the works of great masters with a “pedigree”, particularly if Italian or Flemish. Such as in the case of “Charity”, oil on canvas, 138.5 x 172.5 cm, estimate €200-300,000 and sold for €317,500, which with its Madonna holding a suckling Baby Jesus, reveals the refined art of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, “il Guercino”, or Jan Brueghel II and Hendrick van Balen, the joyous and crowded “Allegory of the Five Senses”, estimated at €180/200,000 and sold for €303,930; Theodor van Loon, “Sinite Parvulos”, oil on canvas, 136 x 177 cm sold for €215,380; Lorenzo Lippi, “The Triumph of David”, oil on canvas, 127 x 98.5 cm, estimated at €120/150,000 and sold at april for €869,800. The art of the old masters has a future.
In apertura. Theodor van Loon, "Sinite Parvulos", (Dorotheum). Sinistra in alto. Hendrik Voogd (attr.), "Vista dei Campi Flegrei", (Farsetti Arte). Sinistra, in basso. Cerchia di Massimo Stanzione, "San Giovanni Battista", (Pandolfini Casa d'Aste). Sinistra, in basso a destra. Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé, "L’infanzia di Bacco", (Porro & C. Art Consulting). Destra. Giovanni Battista Cimaroli, "Piazza San Marco", (Bonhams).