23
23

PROPERTY OF A DESCENDANT OF DENYS SUTTON

School of The Veneto, circa 1560
THE GARDEN OF A VILLA IN THE VENETO
Estimate
80,000120,000
JUMP TO LOT
23

PROPERTY OF A DESCENDANT OF DENYS SUTTON

School of The Veneto, circa 1560
THE GARDEN OF A VILLA IN THE VENETO
Estimate
80,000120,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture

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School of The Veneto, circa 1560
THE GARDEN OF A VILLA IN THE VENETO
oil on panel
overall: 15 1/4  by 58 3/8  in.; 38.7 by 148.4 cm.;
painted surface: 57 1/4  by 14 1/2  in.; 145.3 by 36.9 cm.
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Provenance

Lord Somers Collection, by 1934;
With Colnaghi Ltd., London (as Bonifazio Veronese);
From whom purchased by Denys Sutton, 11 March 1960;
Thence by descent to the present owner.

Exhibited

Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, Jubilee Commemorative Exhibition of Art Treasures of the Midlands, 1934, no. 265 (as Bonifazio de' Pitati).

Catalogue Note

The scene here, of a typical garden in the Venetian Terra Firma, recalls those popularized by the Flemish painter Lodewijck Toeput, also called Pozzoserrato, after his removal to Treviso in the early 1580s.  There are similarly structured landscapes in Pozzoserrato’s long canvases in the Cappella dei Rettori, Monte di Pieta, Treviso, depicting Biblical scenes, or in his Outdoor Concert in the Museo Civico, also Treviso.1  Like the present work, these landscapes display extensive, architectural gardens, painted in perspective and divided into sections with flower beds, streams and floral arched pathways, and with figures strolling, banqueting and playing music. 

This beautiful panel was likely intended to be integrated within a piece of furniture.  The swirling floral pattern still visible on the panel’s reverse suggest it was intended to be viewed from both sides and was perhaps conceived as part of a lettuccio (bedstead) or even a panel from a carriage. Two meticulously painted triangular additions were at one stage appended to the lower corners, perhaps to replace pieces once cut away to fit another furnishing, or to give the panel a more unified rectangular form thus allowing it to hang independently. 

The figures here are less mannered than those executed by Lodovico Pozzoserrato, a Flemish artist working Italy who specialised in such garden scenes, and this unknown hand appears to be more skilled, highlighting their bright drapery with shimmering highlights to imbue the figures with a certain lightness and lyricism of movement.  Peter Humfrey and Bernard Aikema both independently date this painting to between 1560 and 1570, predating Pozzoserrato who came to Italy only in 1573 and moved to the Veneto area in 1582.  The costumes in this painting, with broad, square necked bodices worn over open-collared, white partlets by the ladies, and tall hats worn by the gentlemen, are indeed in keeping with fashions of the 1560s.  This dating would also discount the attribution of Bonifazio Veronese proposed while the painting was with Colnaghi and in the 1934 Birmingham exhibition (see under Exhibited), as the artist died in 1553. 

We are grateful to Bernard Aikema and Peter Humfrey for their assistance in dating this painting on the basis of photographs.

1.  M. Lucca, La Pittura Nel Veneto: Il Cinquecento, vol. II, p. 692, reproduced fig. 762-763 and p. 694, reproduced fig. 766.

Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture

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New York