THE PROPERTY OF A FAMILY TRUST

Orazio Gentileschi
DANAË
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THE PROPERTY OF A FAMILY TRUST

Orazio Gentileschi
DANAË
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
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Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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New York

Orazio Gentileschi
PISA 1563 - 1639 LONDON
DANAË

Provenance

Commissioned in 1621 by Giovanni Antonio Sauli, Genoa;
By descent and inheritance in the family;
Thomas P. Grange, London, by 1975;
By whom sold in 1977 to Richard L. Feigen;
By whom sold on 2 October 1998 to a family trust, the present consignor.

Exhibited

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14 February - 12 May 2002, no. 36;
Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, Orazio Gentileschi in Genoa: Paintings for the Palazzo Sauli, 1 October, 2002- 12 January, 2003;
New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, Italian Paintings from the Richard L. Feigen Collection, 28 May - 12 September, 2010, no. 47;
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, on loan, 2013-2015.

Literature

R. Soprani, Vite de’ pittori, scultori ed architetti genovesi, Genoa 1674, p. 317;

R. Soprani, C.G. Ratti (ed.), Le vite de’ pittori, scultori ed architetti genovesi, Genoa 1768, vol. I, p. 452;

C.G. Ratti, Instruzione di quanto puo vedersi di più bello in Genova, Genoa 1780, p. 112;

A. da Morrona, Pisa illustrata nelle arti del disegno, Livorno 1812, vol. II, p. 258;

W. Suida, Genua, Leipzig 1906, p. 156;

H. Voss, Die Malerei des Barock in Rom, Berlin 1925, p. 460;

A. Moir, The Italian Followers of Caravaggio, Cambridge, MA, 1967, vol. I, p. 197, note 4, and vol. II, p. 78, cat. no. 3;

R. Ward Bissell, “Orazio Gentileschi and the Theme of Lot and His daughters,” in Bulletin of the National Gallery of Canada, 14, 1969, pp. 20, 30-31;

E. Poleggi and F. Caraceni Poleggi (eds), Descrizione della città di Genova da un anonimo del 1818, Genoa 1974, p. 79;

B. Nicolson, The International Caravaggesque Movement, Oxford 1979, pp. 51-52;

R. Ward Bissell, Orazio Gentileschi and the Poetic Tradition in Caravaggesque Painting, University Park, PA and London 1981, pp. 176-7, cat. no. 49, reproduced figs 108 and 110, and pp. 44, 45-46, 49;

Cleveland Museum of Art, Catalogue of Paintings, part 3, European Paintings of the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, Cleveland 1982, pp. 346-47;

B. Nicolson, "Orazio Gentileschi and Giovanni Antonio Sauli," in Artibus et historiae, 6, no. 12, 1985, pp. 9-25;

B. Nicolson, (L. Vertova ed.), Caravaggism in Europe, Milan 1989, vol. I, p. 112, reproduced vol. II, fig. 215 (with incorrect measurements);

J.W. Mann, "The Gentileschi Danaë in the Saint Louis Art Museum, Orazio or Artemisia?" in Apollo, 143, no. 412, June 1996, p. 41;

S.J. Barnes et al., Van Dyck a Genova: Grande pittura e collezionismo, exhibition catalogue, Milan 1997, p. 160, under cat. no. 5, reproduced;

R. Ward Bissell, Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art, University Park, PA, 1999, pp. 6-7, 49-50, reproduced fig. 107;

K. Christiansen and J.W. Mann, Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, exhibition catalogue, New York 2001, pp. 178-80, cat. no. 35, reproduced in color, and pp. 21-23, 30, 166, 172-3, 193-4;

M Leonard, N. Khandekar and D Carr, "Amber Varnish and Orazio Gentileschi's Lot and His Daughters," in The Burlington Magazine, 143, January 2001, pp. 4-10, reproduced p. 6, fig. 2;

M. Cataldi Gallo, "The Sauli Collection: Two Unpublished Letters and a Portrait by Orazio Gentileschi," in The Burlington Magazine, 145, May 2003, pp. 349-51, reproduced p. 349, fig. 15;

L. Kanter and J. Marciari, Italian Paintings from the Richard L. Feigen Collection, exhibition catalogue, Yale 2010, pp. 152-6, cat. no. 47, reproduced in color p. 153, pp. vii;

K. Christiansen, “Orazio Gentileschi,” in A. Zuccari (ed.), I Caravaggeschi, Percorsi e protagonisti, Milan 2010, vol. II, p. 433, reproduced in color p. 429, fig. 10;

A. Leonardi, Genoese Way of Life, Vivere da collezionisti tra Seiciento e Settecento, Rome 2013, p. 46.

Catalogue Note

Orazio Gentileschi’s majestic Danaë is one of the finest masterpieces of the Italian seventeenth century and the most important Baroque painting to come to the market in living memory. Commissioned in 1621 by the nobleman Giovanni Antonio Sauli for his palazzo in Genoa, the painting remained in the family until the twentieth century. The Sauli series was amongst the most important commissions Orazio received, and includes a Penitent Magdalene (fig. 1), in a New York private collection, and a Lot and his Daughters (fig. 2), in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.1 The sensuality and splendor of the Danaë draw together the Caravaggesque naturalism prevalent in early seventeenth-century Italy with the refinement and color which mark the mature style of Gentileschi, one of the most elegant and individual figures of the Italian Baroque.

As Cupid pulls back the luxuriant dark green curtain, allowing Jupiter to enter in the guise of a shower of gold, Danaë lies on her bed awaiting her fate in an expanse of white and gold which is punctuated by a red mattress, and we too are invited to peer into the narrative of eroticism and seduction. The artist’s restraint and grace, however, mean the scene does not spill into the vulgar and Orazio’s Danaë, the lower half of her body turned away from the approaching gold, remains a chaste figure accepting of her inescapable destiny. This is quite unlike Titian’s sexual and consenting Danaë in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, which Orazio would have known from his time in Rome when it hung in the Palazzo Farnese.2

Gentileschi seamlessly blends the movement and dynamism of the falling gold coins and ribbons with the serenity of Danaë's sculptural physicality and classical appeal. The diagonal line formed by the curtain which Cupid holds aloft parallels both the coins and Danaë’s arm, accentuating the speed of the gold’s penetration into the scene. Gentileschi’s picture could also be considered one of the highpoints of early seventeenth-century still-life painting since it is a meticulously observed study of light, surface and color. The various different textures of gold, the sheen of the fabrics, ranging from the gold bedcover to the cool white linen, the deep crimson mattress, the gilt bed and the artichoke-shaped bed knobs are of the very highest order. So too is the enticing transparent veil that covers Danaë’s modesty – in stark contrast to Cupid’s genitals, which are very deliberately exposed. Perhaps even more remarkable is the extraordinary skill and success in the description of the dramatis personae themselves: Danaë’s alluring pearly flesh; the effortless weight of her elbow on the pillow; the careful portrayal of the delicate feathers of Cupid’s wings; the plunging gold coins and spiraling ribbons that bear images of Jupiter and of his symbol, the thunderbolt.

The subject

Greek mythology, adapted and recounted in Latin in the verses of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, relates that the beautiful Danaë was locked away in a bronze tower by her father, King Acrisius of Argos. Disappointed that he and his wife Eurydice had not produced a male heir, Acrisius consulted an oracle, who informed him, unexpectedly, that his daughter’s son would kill him. In order to keep her childless, therefore, the king banished Danaë to a tower, away from the reach of men. While no mortal could gain access to Danaë, her imprisonment was no obstacle to Jupiter and his insatiable desire for young maidens. Transforming himself into a shower of golden rain, Jupiter lay with Danaë and impregnated her, conceiving the boy who would become the hero Perseus, famed for killing the Medusa and for rescuing Andromeda. When Perseus was born Acrisius threw both mother and son out to sea in a wooden chest, but Poseidon, the sea god, calmed the choppy waters and saved them. Later in life Perseus would indeed kill Acrisius, thereby affirming the inescapability of fate.

While the subject matter was at times clearly employed as a morally acceptable vehicle for portraying and celebrating the female nude, in much the same way as the theme of Susanna and the Elders was employed, it also presented an opportunity to explore a complex and multi-layered theme. The figure of Danaë, somewhat counter-intuitively, had been taken as an emblem of moral chastity, and since Perseus’ conception only took place through divine intervention, the Church was not slow in appropriating the theme as a prefiguration of the Annunciation. The potential similarities with the Christian Annunciation must surely end there: even though Gentileschi places the tale of Danaë in a framework of sensuality rather than covetousness, his depiction of the nude does not shy away from celebrating the overtly erotic aspects of the story. The tale must also, on some level, be a cautionary though thinly veiled allegory; even locked away in a tower, Danaë, representative of all mankind, not just women, is helpless to resist the lure of money.

Orazio and Caravaggio

Orazio Gentileschi was born in Pisa in 1563, the son of Giovanni Battista di Bartolomeo Lomi, a Florentine goldsmith. As late as 1593, when the artist would have been 30, he is recorded as receiving payment for the design of medals for the feast of Saint Peter, so it is likely that he intended to follow in his father’s footsteps professionally to some degree. By his late 30s, however, Orazio seems to have been committed to painting, as his destroyed altarpiece from 1596 in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome, would suggest. Once he became an established artist, however, his success was impressive. During his lifetime Orazio was probably the most successful of all Caravaggio’s associates, and certainly the most internationally patronized. His travels, in fact, did much to spread knowledge of Caravaggio’s style overseas and made him one of the most peripatetic painters of the century. His career took him to Florence, the Marches, Rome, Genoa, Paris and London, where he became court painter to Charles I in 1626, and where he was to remain until his death some thirteen years later.

Although eight years older than Caravaggio, Orazio was still a relatively under-developed artist by the time he came into contact with his revolutionary tenebrist style. He very much belonged to a previous generation of artists whose point of reference would have been the work of the Carracci family, and whose artistic formation was rooted in the sixteenth century. Indeed, the inspiration for the present composition is the painting of the same subject, variously ascribed to Annibale Carracci, Francesco Albani and Domenichino, which was formerly in Bridgewater House but destroyed during the Second World War (fig. 3).A preparatory drawing for the Bridgewater painting, certainly by Annibale Carracci, is in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.4 As Carracci and his busy workshop were active in Rome, Orazio would likely have come across the composition there, be it via the painting or the drawing, and perhaps made a study of it for use at a later date.

The immediate maturing of Orazio’s style, not to mention career acceleration, owed much to his association with his younger acquaintance Caravaggio, and can be seen as a defining period of his life. The two artists probably met in Rome around 1600, shortly after Caravaggio’s ground-breaking canvases, depicting the story of the Evangelist Matthew, were first shown in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome.5 It is at times difficult for a modern audience to appreciate quite how powerful and extraordinary Caravaggio’s canvases appeared when they were unveiled, and what an impact they made on his peers. Orazio was certainly awe-struck, but the little we know for certain of the two artists’ interaction is limited to the transcripts of the lawsuit for defamation which another artist, Giovanni Baglione, brought against Caravaggio and Gentileschi in 1603. Caravaggio actually denied being friends with Gentileschi but we know that this must have been an exaggeration for at the very least there was a strong working relationship of some sort. It is recorded that Caravaggio had borrowed from Orazio a capuchin’s cowl and a pair of swan’s wings, presumably for use as props for a painting. One might tentatively propose that Orazio made use of these props in his Stigmatization of Saint Francis from 1600, in a private collection, and may even have reused them later in the Saint Francis Supported by an Angel, from around 1607, today in the Prado, Madrid (fig. 4).6

However, the lyricism and sense of color which Orazio was never to abandon, and which were in part a result of his Tuscan late-mannerist training, meant that the term Caravaggesque can apply to Gentileschi only in part. His work is certainly not Caravaggesque in the way one might thus label artists such as Bartolomeo Manfredi, whose work often displays a forceful use of light and is populated by low-life figures. Gentileschi was one of the few artists of his generation, in fact, who succeeded in blending Caravaggesque naturalism with formal sophistication, and in using light as an instrument to celebrate beauty rather than as a theatrical device, Orazio proved to be one of the most graceful, personal and innovative artists of the period, as the present Danaë testifies.

During these key years Gentileschi repeatedly made use of Caravaggio’s topos of presenting a single figure, lost in contemplation, and close to the picture plane, against a background that is bare but for a few details. While Caravaggio was intent on exploring the dramatic potential of a scene, however, Orazio focused on stylistic mannerisms, concentrating, for example, on the silvery fall of light on feathers in his aforementioned Saint Francis Supported by a an Angel in Madrid, as well as his treatment of the same subject in the Galleria Barberini, Rome.He brings a similar approach to the delightful description of colorful silks, such as in his wonderful Young Woman Playing a Lute (fig. 5) from 1612-15 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington.This interest in achieving visual harmony rather than creating dynamic impact can be found throughout Gentileschi’s career and is clearly manifest in the present work.

The Sauli Commission

By 1620 Orazio had established himself in Rome as an artist of great repute, working, amongst others, for the Borghese family. In 1621 a second defining moment in his career took place when the Genoese patrician Giovanni Antonio Sauli arrived in Rome with a delegation sent in honor of the new Pope Alessandro Ludovisi, who took the name Gregory XV. While Sauli is thought to have met Orazio for the first time in Rome, he probably already knew of his work since Orazio’s brother, Aurelio Lomi, had in fact lived in Genoa from 1597 to 1604 and had worked for the Sauli family, producing two canvases for the basilica of Santa Maria in Carignano, a Last Judgement and a Resurrection of Christ.Whatever the precise context, Sauli was impressed enough by Orazio’s work to invite him back to Genoa - where the artist was to remain until he left for France in 1624 - acting as an advisor for Sauli’s burgeoning picture gallery and producing paintings directly for him.

The Ligurian capital was enjoying a period of unprecedented wealth and transformation. Genoa, “La Superba,” had established itself as the leading banking and commercial center of the Spanish Hapsburg Empire in northern and central Europe, and in the Mediterranean. The atmosphere of the artistic milieu was no less febrile: Peter Paul Rubens had already left his indelible mark on the city with his portraits and altarpieces, particularly the Circumcision commissioned by Nicolò Pallavicino for the church of the Gesù; Guido Reni’s paintings, in particular his Assumption of the Virgin from 1617, already adorned the family chapel of Cardinal Stefano Durazzo, also in the Gesù; Anthony Van Dyck was to arrive in the same year as Gentileschi. All three of these artists were fascinated by color and the effects of light. It is perhaps little wonder then that it was amidst this stimulating Genoese setting that Orazio was to complete three masterpieces for Sauli’s palazzo which represent the apogee of his career: the present Danaë, the New York Penitent Magdalene, which is based on the same cartoon as the Danaë, and the Getty’s Lot and his Daughters. Carlo Giuseppe Ratti, editor of the 1768 edition of Raffaele Soprani’s account of various artists and their work in Genoa (see Literature), singled out the Danaë as the finest of the set.

In both form and content, the poetics of Gentileschi’s approach are remarkable. The subject matter of the Sauli paintings are taken from disparate sources: the present work is drawn from classical mythology; the Getty Lot and his Daughters is taken from the Old Testament scriptures; the story of the Penitent Magdalene is an apocryphal Christian tale. If a carefully defined iconographical program were intended, and there is no evidence that was the case, the uniting thread between the three would surely point to the rapport between women, God and different types of love, each picture representing a distinct facet of this relationship. Danaë, invitingly veiled in a richly embroidered bedroom, represents sensual love and physical union. The Magdalene, chastely covered in part by her brown robes and meditating alone in a cave, symbolizes cerebral and devotional love after her conversion. Lot’s daughters, on the other hand, depict a moral challenge for they are caught between the sin of incest and the divine order to ensure that their genealogical line is not extinguished after the destruction of Sodom.

The compositions may perhaps just as well have been conceived within a visual framework rather than an iconographical one (see fold-out on p. 15). The Magdalene and the Danaë, both single-figure paintings, are based on the same cartoon and may have flanked the more complex and multi-figured design of the Lot and his Daughters, which compositionally forms a neat downward-facing triangle at its center. The Danaë may have hung to the right of the Lot, for while her body draws the eye to the right, her raised arm and the momentum of the coins could usefully create the right wing of the "triptych." The Magdalene’s pose would indicate that she would have hung to the left. There is no suggestion that the pictures actually hung in a line, however, so at this stage any discussion on the potential layout of the pictures remains firmly rooted in the realm of conjecture.

The Sauli pictures were so successful that Gentileschi’s status in Genoa as a great artist was ensured. Marcantonio Doria, another local aristocrat, employed Orazio on the elaborate fresco decorations (now lost) of the ceilings of his casino at Sanpierdarena outside Genoa, where Simon Vouet also participated. Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoy, also came to know of Gentileschi’s work and in 1623 ordered the Annunciation in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin.10 Further versions of the Sauli paintings themselves were also produced, and attest to their immediate success and popularity: the Clevelend Museum of Art houses a second version of the Danaë, which was possibly in the collection of the Duke of Sunderland by the mid-eighteenth century.11  Further versions of the Magdalene are in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in a New York private collection, and further inferior versions are known.12 The Getty’s Lot and his Daughters was replicated at least four times, the best versions probably the autograph variant in the National Gallery of Art, Ottawa, and the painting in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, though the latter should be considered a studio work at best.13

Versions

It was quite common practice in the seventeenth century for artists to paint second versions, and Orazio is known to have done so on numerous occasions beside those related to the Sauli pictures. Earlier in his career, for example, he had produced a second version, today in a private collection, of the Saint Jerome in the Museo Civico in Turin.14 For the second version of the Danaë in Cleveland (fig. 6, 163.4 by 228.7 cm.), Gentileschi made use of the same cartoon as for the Sauli picture but introduced some minor changes, perhaps the most significant of which is the rather anxious expression on Danaë's face which contrasts with the more serene look of the prototype. Marginally larger than the present work, the Cleveland painting was understandably widely (though not unanimously) thought to be the lost Sauli original when it was rediscovered in 1971, five years before the present picture resurfaced.15 There can now be no doubt, however, that the Cleveland painting is the second version since it lacks the obvious pentimenti of the present work such as those in Danaë’s right shoulder and around Cupid’s right upper arm. It is also painted in a more rigid manner, as is often the case with second versions, since by the time of their execution the designs had already been resolved. When the two pictures were closely compared on the occasion of the 2001 exhibition, it became evident that the Cleveland picture was in fact produced from a tracing. Similarly, the use of glazes, which in the Feigen Danaë create a sense of transparency in the sheets and allow the light to shimmer on the various surfaces, is absent from the Cleveland version, which by contrast appears somewhat ponderous, in part, it should be added, due to its less than satisfactory condition.

Danaë in relation to other paintings in Orazio’s oeuvre

From both the compositional and stylistic points of view, the Sauli Danaë fits perfectly into Orazio’s work from the early 1620s and epitomizes his artistic early maturity, arguably his most accomplished period, though he never totally abandoned his earlier style. Danaë’s rhetorical gesture, for example, echoes the figure of Saint Cecilia in a work from 1606-07, the Saints Cecilia, Valerianus and Tiburtius visited by the Angel (fig. 7) in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, while similar gestures, which border on the self-conscious, are also to be found in the aforementioned Annunciation in Turin (fig. 8) from 1623. A similar control in the rendering of shimmering fabrics can be seen in the handling of the bedsheets in the sumptuous red and blue folds of the Turin Annunciation, as well as the yellow and blue robes of the figure of Public Felicity in the Louvre, Paris.16 A useful comparison might be made with Orazio’s inviting Cleopatra (fig. 9) from the early 1610s, today in an Italian private collection, which has also at times been ascribed to Orazio’s daughter, Artemisia.17 The picture demonstrates quite how far Orazio’s style had evolved by the 1620s. During this earlier artistic phase Orazio’s description of the white linen sheet and the red folds of the curtains are still very much rooted in a strong Caravaggesque naturalism which cannot yet boast the elegance or refinement of the present picture. Moreover, the corpulent female figure type is deliberately bold and overtly sexual by comparison, and has not yet developed into the graceful, restrained and painterly figure of the present Danaë.

Provenance

The painting’s provenance can be traced from Palazzo Sauli to the present day. The three Sauli pictures are listed in inventories from 1661, 1663 and 1668 of works bequeathed by Sauli to his son Francesco Maria. The artists Domenico Piola and Bernardo Carbone valued the collection at 14,630 Genoese lire, with the Danaë and the Lot both listed at 3,760 lire and the Magdalene at 1,880 lire.18 The paintings hung in the picture gallery and were seen there by Carlo Giuseppe Ratti in 1780 as well as by the anonymous author of the Descrizione della Città di Genova (see Literature) in 1818.

The paintings were probably removed from the palazzo in 1852, when the property was sold by Costantino Sauli who had inherited the property via Domenico Maria Ignazio Sauli and Domenico Sauli. Costantino died intestate in 1853 so his goods were distributed among his three daughters: Maria, who was unmarried; Bianca, who married Domenico de Mari; and Luisa, who married Francesco Camillo Pallavicino. Luisa’s daughter Maria Teresa married Lazzaro Negrotto Cambiaso and their son was Pierfrancesco (also known as Pierotto) Negrotto Cambiaso, who, conveniently, was his aunt Maria’s heir, thereby reuniting many Sauli possessions. Wilhelm Suida’s guide of 1906 (see Literature) confirms that the Magdalene from the set was indeed in Pierfrancesco’s possession. In 1924 Pierfrancesco married Matilde Giustiniani Durazzo Pallavicini, who inherited his goods after his death. Matilde died childless and bequeathed her estate to her niece Carlotta Giustiniani Cattaneo-Adorno, in whose villa the painting was rediscovered, along with the Magdalene and, confusingly, the Thyssen (not the Getty) Lot and his Daughters.

The journey of the Sauli Lot and his Daughters to its present home in the Getty is more circuitous. Though the picture only resurfaced in 1997, it had been known through a photograph in the archives of the Museo del Palazzo Rosso in Genoa, where it was recorded as belonging to a certain Mr Teophilatus, who had died in 1910. The confusion over the provenance of the Getty picture was compounded by the fact that when the other two pictures in the Sauli set were discovered, the Thyssen version of the Lot and his Daughters was hanging with them, not the Getty prototype. It is entirely reasonable that copies of the originals were made to hang in other family palazzi, as is stated in the Sauli inventories, and as confirmed by Cataldi Gallo (see Literature). This would certainly explain why the inventory of 1735 lists a copy of the Lot as measuring 5 by 7 palmi, or roughly 124 by 175 cms, not too far off the 120 by 169 cm of the Thyssen Lot. The Getty/Sauli Lot did not travel far from Genoa, however: the next confirmed sighting was in the 1920s when it emerged that a Mrs Margaret Pole kept the picture in her Ligurian villa at Diano Marina, near Imperiale. She is believed to have taken the work to England between 1925 and 1927 and it was her heirs who sold the painting to the Getty in 1997.

The Thyssen painting can be categorically excluded from the original Sauli set not only for its inferior quality but also because of its smaller size. Moreover, in an enlightening article from 2001, Leonard, Khandekar and Carr (see Literature) describe how restoration of the pictures confirmed that each of them had been cut diagonally at the lower corners, as if to fit a particular set of frames with spandrels. The Feigen picture had in fact also been cut diagonally in the upper corners. None of the other versions of the Lot and his Daughters shows evidence of this, and nor do the Cleveland Danaë or any of the other versions of the Penitent Magdalene.

While one cannot prove the movement of the present painting between 1818, the last written record of it in the collection of Carlotta Giustiniani Cattaneo-Adorno (see Poleggi, under Literature), and 1975, the year the picture resurfaced, the family links between the Sauli and the Giustiniani Cattaneo-Adorno present a very strong case for the painting having remained within the family. That Suida (see Literature) should have seen the Sauli Magdalene in the palace of Pierfrancesco Negrotto Cambiaso in 1906 and that the Magdalene and the Danaë were still together in 1975 only lends weight to the theory. In 1975 the Danaë and the Magdalene were purchased by the Englishman Thomas P. Grange. The Danaë was sold by his widow to Richard Feigen, who subsequently sold it to a family trust.

 

1. The Penitent Magdalene is on canvas and has dimensions of 149.5 by 183 cm.; the Lot and his Daughters, also on canvas, has dimensions of 151.8 by 189.2 cm. See Christiansen and Mann, under Literature, pp. 174-78, cat. no. 35, and pp. 180-84, cat. no. 37.
2. Canvas, 120 by 172 cm.; see P. Humfrey, Titian, The Complete Paintings, Bruges 2007, p. 199, cat. no. 144, reproduced in color.
3. Canvas, 170 by 344 cm.; see D. Posner, Annibale Carracci, New York 1971, vol. II, p. 69, cat. no. 152, reproduced plate 153a.
4. Pen drawing; see Posner, op. cit., reproduced plate 153b.
5. See S. Schütze, Caravaggio, The Complete Works, Cologne 2009, pp. 258-59, cat. nos 24.I and 24.II, both reproduced in color.
6. Canvas, 162.5 by 116 cm.; see Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., pp. 53-55, reproduced in color. The Madrid painting is also on canvas, 126 by 98 cm.; Christiansen and Mann, pp. 61-63, cat. no. 6, reproduced in color.
7. Canvas, 133 by 98 cm; Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., pp. 110-112, cat. no. 21, reproduced in color.
8. Canvas, 143.5 by 129 cm.; Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., pp. 113-15, cat. no. 22, reproduced in color.
9. For a reproduction of Lomi's Annunciation in the church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Genoa, see Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., p. 169.
10. Canvas, 286 by 196 cm.; Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., pp. 198-201, cat. no. 43, reproduced in color.
11. Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., pp. 193-95, cat. no. 41, reproduced in color.
12. For a further discussion of the different versions of the Magdalene, see Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., pp. 174-78.
13. Ibid., pp. 180-84.
14. Ibid., pp. 94-96, cat. no. 16, reproduced in color.
15. Carlo Volpe doubted that the Cleveland picture was the Sauli version and believed it to have been painted during Orazio’s French period (see C. Volpe, "Sulla mostra di Cleveland," in Paragone, 263, January 1972, p. 67). Benedict Nicolson proposed that the Cleveland painting was a second version painted in England (see B. Nicolson, "Caravaggesques at Cleveland," in The Burlington Magazine, February 1972, p. 114).
16. Christiansen and Mann, op. cit., pp. 214-17, cat. no. 44, reproduced in color.
17. Ibid., pp. 97-100, cat. no. 17 and pp. 302-05, cat. no. 53, reproduced in color. The painting has two entries in the catalogue as attributions to both Orazio and Artemisia are proposed.
18. See Cataldi Gallo, under Literature, p. 351.

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