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PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Álvaro Pires de Évora, called Alvaro Portoghese
THE ANNUNCIATION
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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.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 435,000 USD
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1

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Álvaro Pires de Évora, called Alvaro Portoghese
THE ANNUNCIATION
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.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
150,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 435,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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Álvaro Pires de Évora, called Alvaro Portoghese
B. ÉVORA, PORTUGAL, BEFORE 1411 – D. ITALY, AFTER 1434
THE ANNUNCIATION

Provenance

In the collection of the family of Heinz Kisters (1912-1977), Kreuzlingen, Switzerland;
By whom sold to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1876–1967);
By descent to Adenauer's heirs, by whom sold back to Heinz Kisters;
His sale ('Collection formed by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the property of Heinz Kisters’), London, Christies, 26 June 1970, lot 16, where unsold;
Thence by descent to the present owner.

Exhibited

Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, Meisterwerke aus Baden-Wüttenbergischen Privatbesitz, 9 October 1958 - 10 January 1959, no. 9;
Arquivos Nacionais Torre do Tombo, Lisbon, Álvaro Pires de Évora : um pintor português na Itália do Quattrocento, 3 February - 3 April 1994, no. X. 

Literature

Staatsgalerie, Meisterwerke aus Baden-Württembergischen Privatbesitz, exh. cat., Stuttgart 1958, p. 13, cat. no. 9, reproduced fig. 83;
H. Kisters, Adenauer als Kunstsammler, Munich 1970, p. 42, reproduced p. 43;
F. Zeri, ‘Qualche Appunto Su Alvaro Pirez’, in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 1973, p. 192, reproduced p. 193, fig. 5;
R. Fremantle, Florentine Gothic painter. From Giotto to Massacio. A guide to painting in and near Florence 1300 to 1450, London 1975, p. 436, reproduced fig. 899;
M.S. Frinta, 'A new work by Alvaro Pirez', in Bulletin du Musée National du Varsovie, vol. XVII, 1976, no. 2, p. 35;
F. Todini, 'Alvaro Pirez d'Evora', in AKL – Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon. Die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Volker, 1986, vol. II, p. 480-81;
M. Tazartes, 'Alvaro Pirez d'Evora', in La pittura in Italia. Il Quattrocento, vol. II, Milan 1987, p. 741;
F. Zeri, Giorno per giorno nella pittura. Scritti sull'arte Toscana dal Trecento al primo Cinquecento, Turin 1991, p. 120, reproduced fig. 181;
A. Tarturferi, 'Alvaro Pirez d'Evora', in M. Boskovits (ed.), The Martello collection. Further paintings, drawings and miniatures, Florence 1992, p. 12;
F. Todini, 'Alvaro Pirez d'Evora', in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon. Die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker, vol. III, Munich and Leipzig 1992, p. 18-19;
P. Dias, 'A fortuna crítica de Álvaro Pires de Évora', in F. Paulino (Ed.), Álvaro Pires de Évora. Um pintor português na Itália do Quattrocento, exh. cat., Lisbon 1994, p. 106, reproduced p. 107, and p. 164, cat. no. 12, reproduced. p. 165; 
G. Freuler, 'Alvaro Pirez', in J.Schoch (Ed.), Engel, Zurich 1999, p. 115;
M. Mrotzek, Alvaro Pirez - ein Maler der Spätgotik in der Toskana, diss., vol. I, Heidelberg 2009, p. 210-212, cat. no. 28;
Das Konstanzer Konzil. 1414–1418: Weltereignis des Mittelalters, exhibition catalogue, Karlsruhe 2014, pp. 72, cat. no. 5, reproduced.

Catalogue Note

This small panel, meant for private devotion, was probably once the left wing of a diptych.1 Zeri first dated this Annunciation to Alvaro's later years between 1430 and 1434. As Mrotzek notes, this mature period is marked by a significantly increased observation of small details and decoration, and of the individualized physiognomy of his figures. Mrotzek recognizes the present Annunciation as one of Alvaro's highest quality works.2 Zeri notes that the figure of the Madonna Annunciate reveals the significant influence of Lorenzo Monaco, while the wings of the angel appear to be a direct quote from Simone Martini's Annunciation in the Uffizi, Florence.3

Alvaro was born in Portugal, and believed to have perhaps trained in Valencia. He is thought to be the artist Vasari calls 'Alvaro di Piero, a Portugese' and describes as painting in Volterra and Pisa at the same time as Taddeo di Bartolo, under whose biography the mention of Alvaro appears.4

1. Whereabouts of a right hand panel of the original diptych is unrecorded.
2. See Mrotzek 2009, p. 212.
3. See Zeri, 1973, p. 364.
4. G. Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects, translated by Gaston du C. de Vere, republished London 1996, vol. I, p. 235.

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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