Saturday, November 15, 2014

Selected Renaissance & Mannerist Works To be Presented by Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s  has announced the sale of a group of some 30 outstanding Italian Renaissance and Mannerist paintings and sculptures assembled by the renowned dealer and scholar, Fabrizio Moretti. 

Lorenzo Veneziano
St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Sigismund of Burgundy
Est. $600/800,000

Among the highlights of the works to be offered in January is a pair of beautiful, exquisitely painted gold ground works by the pioneering Venetian master Lorenzo Veneziano (active 1356- 1372). Painted during the latter part of the artist’s career - probably in the 1360s or ‘70s - these highly expressive renderings of St Catherine of Alexandria and St. Sigismund of Burgundy are estimated at $600/ 800,000.

Even earlier in date is the delightful small panel showing  God the Father sending forth the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, surrounded by four seraphim, by the Florentine artist Giovanni di Marco, called Giovanni dal Ponte (1385 - 1437/8). Estimated at $100/150,000, the painting was once the pinnacle to the central element of a polyptych altarpiece, now dispersed, and likely formed part of an Annunciation scene, with similar sized panels at either side, depicting the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin. The highly decorative, 19th-century gilt additions to this work are evidence of the renewed fascination that collectors of that period had for the previously ignored, early Italian schools of painting.

A masterpiece by 16th-century Florentine artist Girolamo Macchietti is another outstanding highlight. Estimated at $800,000/1.2 million, The Bacchanal of the Andrians is replete with highly Mannerist figures, each derived from known ancient sculptures, including the reclining Cleopatra and the Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican Museums, and the Diana as a Huntress in the Louvre. A preparatory drawing for the composition is preserved today at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Fabrizio Moretti  has also donated major works to  The Metropolitan Museum in New York, including 

Annibale Carracci’s St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness

and a moving depiction of The Annunciation, by the fascinating Munich-born artist, Peter Candid.