465
465
Louis Finson
DAVID WITH THE HEAD OF GOLIATH
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 106,250 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT
465
Louis Finson
DAVID WITH THE HEAD OF GOLIATH
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 106,250 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Louis Finson
BRUGES CIRCA 1580 - 1617 AMSTERDAM
DAVID WITH THE HEAD OF GOLIATH
signed on the cartellino lower center: LVDOWIKVs/ FINSONIVS
oil on panel
44 1/2  by 32 1/2  in.; 113.2 by 82.7 cm.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

H.H. Gann, 9 Clarence Sq., Brighton, 1923;
Anonymous sale, London, Puttick and Simpson, 26 June 1930, lot 100;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 9 June 1937, lot 135;
Anonymous sale ("The Property of a Lady"), London, Christie's, 30 November 1973, lot 103;
With Brian Sewell, London;
Anonymous sale ("The Property of a Lady"), London, Christie's, 16 December 1988, lot 69;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 7 July 2004, lot 40;
Luigi Koelliker, London;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 4 December 2008, lot 134;
There acquired by the present collector.

Exhibited

Marseilles, La Peinture en Provence au XVIIe Siècle, July - October 1978;
London, Robilant and Voena, French, Dutch and Flemish Caravaggesque Paintings from the Koelliker Collection, 2005;
Aricci, Palazzo Chigi, La "Schola" del Caravaggio. Dipinti dalla Collezione Koelliker, Ariccia 13 October 2006- 11 February 2007, no. 84;
Naples, Gallerie d'Italia, Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano, Tanzio da Varallo Incontra Caravaggio, Pittura a Napoli nel primo Seicento, 24 October - 11 January 2015, no. 21.

Literature

Advertisment for H.H. Gann in Connoisseur, vol. LXXI, May 1923, p. XLIII;
G. Isarlo, Caravage et le Caravagisme Européen, Aix-en-Provence 1941, p. 136;
E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire des Peintres..., vol. III, Paris 1950, p. 758;
W. Bernt, Die Niederländischen Maler des 17. Jahrhunderts, vol. IV, Munich 1962, note before plate 84;
J. Bousquet, La Peinture Manièriste, Neuchâtel 1964, p. 334; 
D. Bodart, Louis Finson, Brussels 1970, pp. 32, 70 and pp. 129-30, cat. no. 14, reproduced fig. 29;
A. Moir, Caravaggio and his Copyists, New York 1976, p. 134, cat. no. 47iii, reproduced fig. 112;
M.C. Leonelli et al., La Peinture en Provence au XVIIe Siècle, exhibition catalogue, Marseilles 1978, p. 177, reproduced;
B. Nicolson, The International Caravaggesque Movement, Oxford 1979, pp. 48, 234;
B. Nicolson (rev. L. Vertova), Caravaggism in Europe, vol. I, Turin 1990, p. 106, reproduced vol. III, fig. 942;
J. Bikker in French, Dutch and Flemish Caravaggesque Paintings from the Koelliker Collection, London 2005, pp. 38-41, reproduced;
G. Papi, in La "Schola" del Caravaggio. Dipinti dalla Collezione Koelliker, Milan 2006, pp. 276-277, cat. no, 84, reproduced;
D. Bodart, "Louis Finson et Naples," in Les Cahiers d'Histoire de l'Art,, 5, 2007, p. 33, reproduced fig. 10;
G. Capitelli, in I Caravaggeschi, Percorsi e protagonisti, Milan 2010, vol. II, pp. 379, 382;
G. Porzio, "Louis Finson a Napoli, Le trace documentarie," in Giuditta decapita Oloferne, 2013, reproduced fig. 2;
T. de Nile, in Tanzio da Varallo Incontra Caravaggio, Pittura a Napoli nel primo Seicento, exhibition catalogue, Naples 2015, p. 156, cat. no. 21, reproduced  p. 157.

Catalogue Note

Despite his tragically short life, Louis Finson played a major role in the Northern Caravaggesque movement.  He was born into a family of painters in Bruges and first studied in the studio of his father Jacques Finson.  At some point early in the 17th century, he arrived in Italy where he is thought to have spent time in Rome before going to Naples where he is recorded from circa 1604/5-1613.  Though he may have first encountered Caravaggio’s ground breaking naturalism in Rome, it was in Naples that Finson was to truly immerse himself in this artist’s innovative style.  Caravaggio was in Naples between 1606-07 and 1609-10, and it is likely that Finson had personal contact with him.  It has even been conjectured that he may have been a pupil of Caravaggio’s, though there is no evidence to support this.  He made numerous copies after the master and we know that Finson owned three paintings by Caravaggio that were among his possessions when he died:  the Madonna of the Rosary (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), a Judith with the Head of Holofernes, and a Crucifixion of St. Andrew).  After Naples, Finson spent time in southern France and was active in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Arles, where he played a key role in introducing the Caravaggesque style in Provence at an early stage.1  He eventually made his way to Amsterdam in 1616 where he died the following year.

This David with the Head of Goliath was almost certainly painted during Finson’s sojourn in Naples and demonstrates a clear knowledge of Caravaggio’s painting of the same subject (circa 1609), now in the Galleria Borghese, Rome.  The figure to the left has been tentatively identified as a self-portrait and may be compared to Finson’s self-portraits preserved in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille.2

1.  See J. Bikker, under Literature, p. 38.
2.  Ibid., p. 38.

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