PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pietro della Vecchia
MAN DRAWING A SWORD
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 182,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Pietro della Vecchia
MAN DRAWING A SWORD
Estimate
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 182,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture

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New York

Pietro della Vecchia
VENICE OR VICENZA 1602/3 - 1678 VENICE
MAN DRAWING A SWORD

Provenance

Possibly Orléans Collection;
Baron Lazzaroni, Rome;
From whom purchased by Sir George Donaldson (1845-1925), London;
From whom purchased by Vernon James Watney, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire;
Thence by descent to Oliver Vernon Watney, Esq., Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire;
By whose Estate sold ("Sold by Order of the Trustees and Beneficiaries of The Late O.V. Watney, Esq."), London, Christie's, 23 June 1967, lot 49, to Miscelli;
With H. Shickman Gallery, New York;
Linda C. Rose;
By whom sold ("Property of a Private Collector, New York"), New York, Sotheby's, 1 June 1990, lot 48, where bought in and subsequently purchased by the present collector.

Literature

A Catalogue of Pictures and Miniatures at Cornbury and II Berkeley Square, 1915, no. 86;
B. Aikema, Pietro della Vecchia and the Heritage of the Renaissance in Venice, Florence 1990, p.150, under cat. no. 211, version F.

Catalogue Note

Pietro della Vecchia came from a prominent Venetian family.1  His early work was heavily influenced by Carlo Saraceni and Saraceni's pupil, Jean Leclerc, and it is thought that Della Vecchia may have initially trained with them. After a probable brief sojourn in Rome, circa 1621-22, he is thought to have worked, circa 1625, in the studio of Alessandro Varotari, called Padovanino, and from him would have derived a reverence for the great Venetian Cinquecento masters such as Titian and Giorgione.

Some of Della Vecchia's most celebrated works are his secular subjects - character heads and half-length warriors. The popularity of this impressive composition is attested to by the number of surviving versions, examples which can be found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the Musée du Louvre, Paris; and the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.2  Bernard Aikema dates the Vienna picture to circa 1640 or shortly before.  A detailed description of a painting by Della Vecchia in La carta del navegar pitoresco (1660) by Marco Boschini, the art critic/dealer and friend of the artist, appears to describe this very composition: "Con un pugnal là una figura tresca,/ E tien bizaro in testa un bareton;/ De raso bianco la veste un zipon:/ Figura in suma aponto zorzonesca." 3

This painting was once owned by the prominent art collector and dealer, Sir George Donaldson (1845-1925).  It was acquired from him by Vernon James Watney who at the time owned Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire, formerly the home of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon.  According to the 1915 catalogue of the Watney collection (see Literature), Donaldson had acquired the painting from Baron Lazzaroni in Rome and it was said to have once been in the Orléans collection.

1.  The artist was widely known as "Pietro Muttoni" until recently, a mistaken identification first proposed by Luigi Lanzi (1732-1810) in his Storia pittorica della Italia, 1795/96, based on a confusion with the name of a collector, Muttoni.
2.  See Aikema, Pietro della Vecchia and the Heritage of the Renaissance in Venice, Florence 1990, under cat. no. 211, versions A-J.
3.  "There a figure threatens with a dagger,/ And has covered his head with an extravagant beret;/ Of white cloth is his vest:/ In brief a truly Giorgionesque figure," see Aikema, ibid., p. 44, and footnote 30.

Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture

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New York