184
184

THE PROPERTY OF A COUNT

After Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian
18th century
A RARE SET OF 24 PORTRAITS OF ROMAN EMPERORS AND THEIR CONSORTS, IN CLASSICAL POSES, DRESSED IN ARMOUR AND DRAPED CLOTHING, TOGETHER WITH THE PERSONIFICATION OF ROME
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 90,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
184

THE PROPERTY OF A COUNT

After Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian
18th century
A RARE SET OF 24 PORTRAITS OF ROMAN EMPERORS AND THEIR CONSORTS, IN CLASSICAL POSES, DRESSED IN ARMOUR AND DRAPED CLOTHING, TOGETHER WITH THE PERSONIFICATION OF ROME
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 90,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Of Royal and Noble Descent

|
London

After Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian
18th century
A RARE SET OF 24 PORTRAITS OF ROMAN EMPERORS AND THEIR CONSORTS, IN CLASSICAL POSES, DRESSED IN ARMOUR AND DRAPED CLOTHING, TOGETHER WITH THE PERSONIFICATION OF ROME
all polychrome paint and gold on grey marble
each approx.: 41.5 by 32.5 cm .; 16 3/8  by 12 3/4  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

In collection of the family of the present owner for several generations

Catalogue Note

This series of panels is directly derived from a set of 24 prints by Aegidius Sadeler II, of which the 12 portraits of the emperors are engravings after Titian.

The pairs of emperors with their wives are named as follows: C. Julius Caesar with Calpurnia Julii Caesar; D. Oct. Augustus with Livia Drusilia D. Oct. Augustiux; Dr. Claudius Caesar with Agrippina Claudii Uxor; Nero Claudius Caesar with Statilia Messalina  Claudii Neron Ux; Tiberius Caesar with Julia Tiberii Uxor; C. Caesar Caligula with Caesonia Caesar Caligulae Uxor; D. Titus Vespasianus with Martia Fulvia Titi Vespasian Uxor; Flavius Domitianus with Domitia Longina Domitiani Uxor; Aullus Vitellius IX with Petronia Vitellii Prima Uxor IX: D. Vespasianus Augustus with Flavia Domicilla Vespasiani Uxor; and Sergius Balba with Lepida Sergii Galbae Uxor. One pair shows emperor Marcus Silvius Otho with his mother Alba Terentia Othonis Mater.

Titian's original series was painted around 1537-38 for Duke Federigo Gonzaga of Mantua. In 1627-28 the set was sold by the Mantuan government to Charles I of England. They then entered a collection in Spain, were destroyed there in a fire in 1734, and are now known only from Aegidius and Marcus Sadeler's etchings. The Sadelers were a family of Flemish engravers, publishers and print sellers who were active throughout Europe for three generations. They played a dominant role in European graphic art, producing a wide range of high quality work. Although the sources for Sadeler’s portraits of the empresses are lost, it has been proposed that he based them on works by Hans von Aachen (1552-1615) or Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611), who like Sadeler, were court artists to Emperor Rudolf II in Prague.

Portrait series showing Roman emperors and empresses were in high demand from the late 17th century onwards, mainly due to the increasing popularity of the ‘Grand Tour’. Of note in this set is the use of marble as a support, which is unusual and seems to have been intended to emphasize the 'all antico' effect of the classical models. The style of these portraits with their opulent use of decorative details and gilding is comparable to the work of the Italian painter and engraver Angelo Guiducci (active in Rome and Austria, 1743 -1779).

Please note that 5 out of the total 25 panels which constitute this lot will be available for viewing by prospective buyers at Sotheby’s New Bond Street premises.  The remaining 20 panels will remain in their current location outside the United Kingdom where they will be available for viewing by prospective buyers by appointment with Sotheby’s, and for collection by the successful buyer following the sale of the lot.  High resolution images of all the panels are available on Sotheby’s website, sothebys.com. Should you have any queries regarding the sale of this lot please contact Catherine Lynn, Sale Administrator (Catherine.Lynn@sothebys.com or +44 (0) 20 7293 5473).

Of Royal and Noble Descent

|
London