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FRANCESCO FROM TOLENTINO

(Central and Southern Italy, end of XV century – first half of XVI century)

Polyptych

Tempera and oil on canvas, 228 x 140 cm
Third decade of XVI century
Provenance: Sotheby’s auction, Milano, 3 December 1991, lot 218

DESCRIZIONE

The altarpiece was attributed by prof. Pierluigi Leone de Castris to Francesco da Tolentino, a painter from Marche, active in central and southern Italy in the late 15th and early 16th century.
Even if very little is known about his early years, the painting quality that the artist was able to reach and that characterized his entire artistic career is evident. The style that characterizes his works, in fact, sees a mixture between the elegance of Perugino and the decorativeness of Crivelli.
The main compartment of the polyptych depicts a Madonna and Child with saints James the Greater and John the Baptist.
In the predella below, instead, we recognize multiple scenes, respectively: the miracle of the hanged man, one of the many stories from the life of st. James; in the center, Christ with saints Peter and Paul; on the right, the beheading of John the Baptist.
At the top is the scene of Resurrection.

FRANÇOIS PERRIER

(Salins, 1590 – Parigi, 1650)

The Rescue of Pirro

Oil on canvas, 116 x 158 cm
Provenance: Private collection

DESCRIPTION

François Perrier, so-called the Burgundian after his place of birth, has been an exponent of the history painting genre, in which he uses a strong baroque style with the inclusion of classical elements, as well as in the canvas presented here, the Rescue of Pirro.
As Plutarch told, the child, the future king of Epirus, was brought to Illyria after his father’s death. 
Here it is depicted the moment when the three soldiers who had saved the boy are struggling for him out of the Glaucia palace. 
The canvas is signed with the monogram of the painter „FP“ on the stone that one of the soldiers is hurling.
It is a copy realized by Perrier of the Nicolas Poussin painting in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

GIOVANNI FRANCESCO GRIMALDI

(Bologna, 1606 – Ivi 1680)

Landscape with Tobiolo and the Archangel

Oil on canvas, cm 97 x 133,4
Provenance: Private Collection

DESCRIZIONE

This painting is a typical example of an ideal landscape in which every single natural element is inserted in a perfectly calibrated composition. The perfect fusion among the painted sacred characters – Tobiolo and the archangel -, their story and the relationship with the surrounding landscape are part of that research of the formal equilibrium and the idyllic beauty that the painters of landscape will try to deepen and to ideally recreate in their canvases.
The picture, in perfect state of maintenance, has probably been painted around the sixties of the 17th century when the artist, who had been involved for several years in the construction site of the church of San Martino ai Monti, was busy with a series of easel works for important exponents of the noble class.

MARCO RICCI

(Belluno, 1676 – Ivi, 1729)

Foro Romano

Oil on canvas, cm 100 x 140
Provenance: Private Collection

DESCRIZIONE

This painting, probably realized when the artist was in Rome, is an architectural capriccio depicting the Roman Forum – we can recognize the massive Temple of Antonino Pio and Faustina on the left, the Temple of Vesta in the center and part of Nero’s portico – portrayed with great dramatic emphasis, preferring dark shades and marked chiaroscuro.
The vibrant brushwork, combined with the realistic touch typical of his style, give the picture an almost romantic reading that the painter had learned from Rosa’s canvases. The tree on the left which bends under the force of its own weight is a quote that returns in other works by the artist.

PIERRE LE GROS (attrib.)

(Paris, 1666 – Rome, 1719)

Two lions crouched made in gilded bronze

Golden bronze, 13 x 28 cm
Rome, late 17th or early 18th century.

Provenance: Private Collection

DESCRIPTION

The two lions, although apparently identical, show some differences in the modeling and the expression, forming two distinct works even if performed by the same author as a unique and inseparable piece.
The technique used is the „lost wax“, and they were finished by a very accurate work of cold chisel. The extraordinary aspect of these works is the amazing plastic rendering of the subjects and the remarkable virtuosity finishe.
From an interpretative point of view, these two works are ascribed to the hand of Pierre Le Gros: it is reported that he executed numerous commissions for Livio Odescalchi, the favorite nephew of Innocent the XI. In particular, he executed works of small and medium-sized in bronze and silver.

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