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Displaying items by tag: Francesco Guardi

Over the past four decades, the art collection at Russborough House has drawn both the attention of I.R.A. thieves and the interest of more than a million visitors to this 18th-century Georgian mansion.

Soon that collection will be smaller, though, thanks to a decision by the foundation that oversees the house to sell off nine artworks, including six old master paintings by the likes of Rubens, David Teniers the Younger and Francesco Guardi, at Christie’s in London next month.

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With the recent loosening of US restrictions on trade with Cuba, prisoner exchanges and the promise of warmer relations to come, the two countries are closer than they have been for 50 years. But for those Cuban exiles in the US whose art was seized by the Cuban authorities in the 1960s, restitution of their property is still no closer. Cuba continues to reject the charge that the art in question was stolen, and has no mechanism for its return.

The latest case involves a Cuban-born neurosurgeon who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. Javier Garcia-Bengochea is claiming Francesco Guardi’s "View of the Lagoon between the Fondamenta Nuove and Murano," 1757, from the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Garcia-Bengochea says that one of his relatives bought the painting at Parke-Bernet in New York for $1,000 in 1957 and then took it to Cuba.

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A traveling exhibition of master paintings by some of the greatest names in European art ends its East Coast summer residency at the Allentown Art Museum on Sunday, September 7. "Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums" features works by Italian Renaissance and Baroque masters such as Giovanni Bellini, Sandro Botticelli, Francesco Guardi, Salvator Rosa, and Titian, many of which have never before been exhibited in the United States. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these forty major works; after Allentown, the exhibition will travel west to the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Society of the Arts (SOTA), the exhibition is free to all visitors, Wednesday-Saturday 11-4 and Sunday noon-4. “The elimination of our admission fees this summer, and dual-language labels in English and Spanish, are intended to deliver a message that in this, our eightieth anniversary year, the Allentown Art Museum is accessible to all and that we encourage everyone to experience what this extraordinary institution has to offer,” says David Mickenberg, Priscilla Payne Hurd President and CEO of the Art Museum.

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Christie’s evening auction of Old Master & British Paintings realised £44,986,000/ $77,016,032/ €56,547,402. The sale attracted 145 registered bidders from 27 countries across 5 continents. The top price was paid for Venice, the Bacino di San Marco with the Piazzetta and the Doge's Palace by Francesco Guardi From The Baron Henri de Rothschild Collection, a masterpiece dating from the artist’s full maturity which realised £9,882,500/ $16,918,840/ €12,422,303, setting the second highest price for a work by the artist at auction (estimate: £8-10 million). New artist record prices at auction were achieved for works by Willem Claesz. Heda (lot 31); Matthias Stomer (lot 34); The Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds (lot 36); Luca Giordano (lot 38); and Sir Henry Raeburn (lot 64), among others.

Henry Pettifer, Head of Old Master & British Paintings at Christie’s London: “This sale drew strong and enthusiastic bidding from around the world for the rarest works of the highest quality. The continued breadth of demand for Old Masters was reflected by the fact that bidders from 27 countries across 5 continents registered to bid in this auction. We are very pleased with the results of the works from The Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection which was led by Vermeer's Saint Praxedis and included a group of Italian Baroque paintings which set new record prices at auction for The Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds (lot 36: £2,434,500) and Luca Giordano (lot 38: £962,500). Notable prices were also achieved for the masterpiece by Francesco Guardi from The Baron Henri de Rothschild Collection (lot 19: £9,882,500) and the Brueghel the Younger "Road to Calvary‟ (lot 13: £5,514,500), each respectively setting the second highest auction price for the artist.”

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Centuries ago, if you wanted to see the paintings of the great Italian masters, you would have embarked on something called The Grand Tour, a kind of traveling educational experience to the principal artistic centers of Renaissance Italy: Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Naples and Venice.

This summer, The Grand Tour, by way of Glasgow, Scotland, is coming to Allentown.

The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley is one of the stops on an once-in-a-lifetime American tour of paintings by some of the greatest names in Italian art. It's a rare opportunity to see the work of artists that quite literally changed the world. And admission will be free, due to an initiative to make the museum more accessible.

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Monday, 03 March 2014 14:32

Francesco Guardi Masterpiece Heads to Auction

For the first time in over a century, Francesco Guardi’s “Venice, the Bacino di San Marco with the Piazzetta and the Doge’s Palace” will be offered at auction. The painting, which was created during the height of Guardi’s career, will be sold during Christie’s Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale in London on July 8, 2014. The work carries a presale estimate of $13 million to $16.5 million.

Guardi, who was born into a family of Venetian painters, is best known for his views of the city, which were especially popular with British tourists visiting Italy. “Venice, the Bacino di San Marco with the Piazzetta and the Doge’s Palace” highlights the Doge’s Palace, one of the city’s most notable landmarks. Built during the 14th century, the Venetian Gothic palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the city’s supreme authority.

“Venice, the Bacino di San Marco with the Piazzetta and the Doge’s Palace” was once part of the collection of The Earls of Shaftesbury and was later acquired by France’s Baron James-Edouard de Rothschild. The painting was then passed down to Rothschild’s daughter, Jeanne-Sophie-Henriette, Baronne Leonino, and then to her brother, Baron Henri-James-Charles-Nathan de Rothschild, who passed the work down to its present owners.

Prior to the sale, “Venice, the Bacino di San Marco with the Piazzetta and the Doge’s Palace,” which has not been seen in public since 1954, will embark on a global tour. The painting will go on view at Christie’s in Paris (March 3-4, 2014) and will continue on to Moscow (April 12-13, 2014), New York (May 2-6, 2014), Hong Kong (May 22-26, 2014), and then back to London where it will be exhibited from July 5, 2014 through July 8, 2014.

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014 13:50

Ashmolean Acquires Rarely Seen Old Master Painting

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England has acquired ‘Venice: The Fondamenta Nuove with the Lagoon and the Island of San Michele’ by Venetian painter Francesco Guardi. The museum acquired the rarely seen work under the Acceptance in Lieu of Inheritance scheme, which allows inheritance tax debts to be written off in exchange for the acquisition of objects of national importance. The Guardi painting cleared a bill of nearly £2 million. A grant from the Art Fund and contributions in memory of Jo Wilson and the Sir Denis Mahon Charitable Trust helped make up the difference in value, allowing the Ashmolean to acquire the work.

Guardi, who was born into a family of Venetian painters, is best known for his views of the city, which were especially popular with British tourists visiting Italy. Created for a British Grand Tourist, ‘Venice: The Fondamenta Nuove with the Lagoon and the Island of San Michele’ is one of Guardi’s early lagoon views illustrating the northern shore of Venice, the island of San Michele, and distant snow-capped mountains, which are rarely visible from the mainland.

Professor Christopher Brown CBE, Director of the Ashmolean, said, “This painting brings to the Ashmolean a poetic masterpiece in which Francesco Guardi reveals his full artistic potential. As the first major Venetian view-painting to enter the Museum’s collection it makes an inspirational addition to the Britain and Italy Gallery. We are profoundly grateful to the Arts Council, the Art Fund, and other supporters for making this acquisition possible.”

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013 16:43

Getty Museum Makes Two Major Acquisitions

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired two major works of European art -- a self-portrait of Rembrandt (1606-1669) and a view of Venice’s Grand Canal by the Italian painter Canaletto (1697-1768). The portrait, titled Rembrandt Laughing (circa 1628), will round out the Getty’s collection of early works by the artist, which is the finest if its kind in the country.

The portrait of Rembrandt resided in private collections for centuries before appearing on the market in 2007. The work, which was only known through print reproductions, was attributed to a contemporary of Rembrandt until scholarly analysis and scientific testing proved it to be an authentic painting by the Dutch master. One of nearly 40 self-portraits by the artist, Rembrandt Laughing is the only one in which he appears in costume as he appears dressed like a soldier. The painting will be exhibited in the museum’s East Pavilion along with four other Rembrandt works – An Old Man in Military Costume (1630-31), The Abduction of Europa (1632), Daniel and Cyrus Before the Idol Bel (1633), and Saint Bartholomew (1661).

The painting by Canaletto, For the Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola, is a superior work by the artist depicting everyday life in Venice during the 18th century. The painting will be exhibited alongside Francesco Guardi’s (1712-1793) The Grand Canal in Venice with Palazzo Bembo (circa 1768), which features the same stretch of the Grand Canal as Canaletto’s painting.

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On 6th July 2011, Sotheby’s London Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale will offer a selection of newly discovered and important works of exceptional quality and rarity, many of which have remained in private collections for decades. Estimated to reach a total in excess of £31 million, the auction of 73 paintings, led by a monumental Venetian view painting by Francesco Guardi, will feature masterpiece works by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Correggio, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, John Constable, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Hans Schäufelein and Frans Jansz. Post.

Alex Bell, Sotheby’s Co-Chairman, Old Master Paintings, Worldwide, said: “It is unprecedented for Sotheby’s to offer in a single sale one of the greatest Venetian view paintings by Franesco Guardi, together with a newly discovered work by one of the key artists of the Italian Renaissance, Correggio, as well as two newly identified paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck. These works will appeal to collectors seeking museum-quality works of extraordinary provenance.”

Guardi’s Venice, a View of the Rialto Bridge, Looking North, from the Fondamenta del Carbon (pictured above, right), estimated at £15-25 million, is the centrepiece of the sale. This dramatic, atmospheric evocation of 18 th century Venice measures an impressive 115 by 199.5cm (45¼ by 78½ in) and is one of four works that Guardi painted on this grand scale, all executed in the late 1760s, which together constitute the pinnacle of his output as a painter of vedute. Generally considered to be Guardi’s greatest works, they are the first and fullest expression of the artist’s mature style. The oil on canvas has an exceptional provenance, having been sold just once since it was first acquired in Venice in 1768 by the English Grand Tourist, Chaloner Arcedeckne and then passed by inheritance from Arcedeckne until 1891. Throughout its existence, the painting has almost always hung in private. It has been on loan for a short period recently to the Iveagh Bequest at Kenwood House in London, but before that, has only been on show twice in its long history.

Offered at auction for the first time is an important, newly discovered work by Antonio Allegri, better known as Correggio, one of the greatest and most influential figures of the Italian High Renaissance. Executed circa 1514-15, the oil on panel Madonna and child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist (pictured left), estimated at £2-3 million, provides a profound insight into the development of the young artist. It sheds new light on the extent to which Correggio was prepared to experiment with form and design and demonstrates a stylistic link between his formative years and his more mature work.

Sotheby’s is also delighted to offer for sale two newly discovered works by Sir Anthony Van Dyck. The great Flemish master’s Portrait of a Carmelite monk, head and shoulders, circa 1617-20 (pictured right) has descended through the same family for over 200 years and was previously known as the “Confesseur de Rubens”. The intense and psychologically penetrating portrait is a hitherto unknown work, which Sotheby’s has discovered to have been painted by the youthful Van Dyck during the years he worked in Rubens’ studio. Offered for sale for the first time in more than two centuries, the painting is estimated to sell for £600,000-800,000.

A Bearded Man with Hands Raised circa 1616 (pictured left) is an important oil study Van Dyck also executed while working in Rubens’ studio. Estimated at £200,000-300,000, the painting’s distinctive model helped Sotheby’s confirm the attribution to the great Flemish master. The figure is one whom Van Dyck used for a variety of sketches, some of which were used in completed paintings, including The Betrayal of Christ, located at Corsham Court.

Offered at auction for the first time, The Village Lawyer's Office of 1618 (pictured right and estimated at £800,000 to £1,200,000) is the finest example of one of Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s most popular compositions. Distinguished by its large scale (73 by 105 cm) and very fine condition, the vibrant oil on panel is also, unusually for this composition, signed and dated. The subject has traditionally been called "Rent Day" and latterly "Tax-Collector's Office", but more recent scholarship has identified it as a ramshackle village lawyer's office strewn with papers. Brueghel's love of incident and delight in the textures of objects is clearly evident in the work, as is a vigorous element of caricature. There is strong evidence to suggest that this is a 17th Century satire on the perceived venality of the legal profession and the way lawyers were seen to twist and distort the law. In this respect it reads as a startlingly modern work.

An important rediscovery, John Constable’s oil on canvas Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (estimated at £500,000 - £700,000) is a dramatic and atmospheric rendering of one of the great English artist’s best known subjects. Painted in the 1830s and depicting the cathedral amidst a lightning storm, the work offers a revealing insight into Constable’s inner emotional turmoil in the latter part of his life. It has also been suggested that the artist used Salisbury Cathedral as a metaphor for the troubled status of the Church at this date, and therefore the meteorological effects under which it is presented are of great significance. The painting remained inConstable’s studio as a visual resource and treasured view until the sale following his death in 1838. The work is now offered for sale at auction for the first time in 173 years.

Sir Peter Lely’s seductive Portrait of a Young Woman and Child, as Venus and Cupid (pictured left) is almost certainly a depiction of Nell Gwynn, actress and mistress of King Charles II. Estimated at £600,000-800,000, the work was recorded in 1723 as: “Nell Gwin naked leaning on a bed, with her Child by Sr Peter Lilly. This picture was painted at the express command of K.Charles 2d nay he came to Sr Peter Lillys house to see it painted when she was naked on purpose. Aterwards this picture was at Court.” These words were written by George Vertue when he visited Buckingham House to see the collection of the courtier, John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. The painting was also recorded in the collection of King James II in 1758.

Hans Schäufelein’s double-sided, tempera and oil altarpiece panel depicts The Dormition of the Virgin (pictured right) and is estimated at £1.5–2 million. It is one of four similar works painted by Schäufelein, one of Albrecht Dürer’s three principal pupils, in Augsburg circa 1509-1510. Probably intended for a church in Augsburg, it is thought the panel came from there in the first third of the 19th century and was purchased in Munich by Pugin, the greatest architect of the Gothic revival. The panel was on loan to St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham between 1927 and 1969. Sotheby’s George Gordon, Co-Chairman, Old Master Paintings, Worldwide, said: “Large-scale altarpieces in exceptional condition by one of the most important artists of the German Renaissance are exceptionally rare at auction, and this exquisite example should provoke keen competition.”

Frans Jansz. Post’s A landscape in Brazil (pictured left) is a newly discovered work, which has remained in the same family collection for at least four generations. Estimated at £400,000 - £600,000, the oil on panel work was identified after cleaning and restoration revealed the artist’s signature. Post spent seven years between 1637 and 1644 in Brazil with the Dutch colonists under Prince Maurits. This work is believed to date from the so-called ‘fourth phase’ of his production, circa 1670, when having returned to the Netherlands he drew on his recollections of his Brazilian sojourn as inspiration to produce works for an avid collecting public.

Painted at the height of his career in Venice, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s  A Young Boy in the Costume of a Page, Head and Shoulders (pictured left) is estimated to fetch £600,000-800,000. This charismatic study of a youth was executed in the middle or latter years of the 1740s when Tiepolo, by now an artist of great renown, was engaged in a series of important commissions in Venice and the Veneto, including the magnificent frescoes of the Meeting of Cleopatra and Anthony in Palazzo Labia. The exceptional condition of the oil on canvas reveals the full range of Tiepolo’s mastery with paint. Appearing at auction for the first time, the work was, since at least the late 19th century, part of the Mumm collection in Reims.

An English School Portrait of Elizabeth I circa 1595 (estimated at £100,000-150,000) also features in the sale. The painting (pictured right) belongs to an important group of portraits adhering to what is known as the Weavers’ Company type, after a portrait in the Guildhall Art Gallery and adopts the Darnley face pattern, the most influential pattern of the reign.

A portrait of James I (pictured left) by John de Critz the Elder, sergeant painter to the King from 1605, is estimated at £80,000-120,000. The painting was presented by James I to Sir Edward Phelips, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1603-1611. Phelips was one of those appointed to examine the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and it is possible the painting may have been a gift from the King in recognition of his services during the trial and subsequent prosecution of Guy Fawkes.

Attributed to Giandomenico Tiepolo are two highly distinctive, majestic depictions of polar bears – possibly the first individual depictions of the animals in Italian art. Believed to be designed as overdoors, the spectacular pair - oils on canvas with gold ground - is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

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