Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 5 July 1989, lot 197, as circle of the Bibiena family, where acquired by the present collector.
This unusual view of an elaborately decorated baroque palace interior is possibly a study for a set design since the Bibiena family are known to have worked as theatrical architects; indeed, the figures shown dining are probably the protagonists of a play rather than mythological characters. Whilst the design is more likely to be a fantasy than a depiction of a real interior, it is an accomplished study in perspective and light. Alongside a depiction of Zeus in the centre of the composition, the marble reliefs show episodes from Greek mythology such as Diana appearing to Endymion, and Apollo and Ariadne. Other scenes are less clear but may represent Andromeda and the dragon, and Alexander and Diogenes.
The catalogue illustration is representative.
The canvas is unlined and the paint surface is impeccably preserved. there are only a few very minor retouchings near the lower margin. There is some localised wear to the blue columns at the left.
Offered in a gilt frame, is reasonable condition. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."