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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.

Ercole Graziani - La Virtù scaccia il Vizio

ERCOLE GRAZIANI JUNIOR

(Bologna, 1688 – 1765)

The Virtue expelling the Vice

Oil on canvas, cm 233 x 207,5

DESCRIPTION

The canvas in question, large and accompanied by the frame, is related to the field of Bolognese Rococò. Maybe it was part of a wider series of allegorical paintings, probably destined to decorate an unique room.
The one shown above depicts the Virtue defeating the Vice.
The Virtue, accompanied by the canonical attributes such as the twig of laurel and the spear, is to crush with her right foot the head of the Vice, decreeing his defeat. A winged cherub helps her to exert force on the enemy using the bow in his hand as a weapon.
The Vice, depicted in the embodiment of a man with reddish skin, with a red cloak, is represented subjugated by the Virtue; some objects alluding to the pleasures of life, and in general to vice, appear on the ground: a mirror, a mask and game cards scattered on the floor.

Ercole Graziani - The Pride offending the Virtue

ERCOLE GRAZIANI JUNIOR

(Bologna, 1688 – Ivi 1765)

The Pride offending the Virtue

Oil on canvas, cm 233 x 182,5
Provenance: Private Collection

DESCRIZIONE

The canvas in question, large and accompanied by the frame, is related to the field of Bolognese Rococò. Maybe it was part of a wider series of allegorical paintings, probably destined to decorate an unique room.
The protagonists of the scene are the personifications of Virtue and Pride.
The latter is represented with its traditional attributes: the peacock on the left knee and the mirror, in which she is contemplating herself, in her right hand. With the right foot she is dispelling the Virtues, who defends herself with the spear.
In the sky a winged putto stands for justice: with one hand he holds a pair of scales, symbol of circumspection; in the other hand he has contested the sword pointing down, symbol of power.

Graziani Junior - The triumph of Virtue

ERCOLE GRAZIANI JUNIOR

(Bologna, 1688 – Ivi 1765)

The Virtue expelling the Vice

Oil on canvas, cm 233 x 182

Provenance: Private Collection

DESCRIZIONE

The canvas in question, large and accompanied by the frame, is related to the field of Bolognese Rococò. Maybe it was part of a wider series of allegorical paintings, probably destined to decorate an unique room.
The personification of virtue in a female figure is the protagonist of the scene: seated on a golden chariot drawn by three puttos, she holds with his left hand a laurel wreath, attribute of victory, with his right hand a spear.
The little angel in flight announces, with a trumpet, the triumph of virtue; some physiognomical items – like the shape of the lips, the eyes and the chubby cheeks – remind of the Cherubino at the top left of the Holy Family (Bologna, basilica of St. Francesco), by the same author.

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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