Lot 295
  • 295

Follower of Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael first half of the 17th Century

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Description

  • Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael
  • Portrait of a woman, head and shoulders
  • the reverse inscribed with an old (possibly 19th-century) inventory number: N. 33

  • oil on panel, in a Spanish 18th-century carved and gilt wood frame

Provenance

Possibly Jacob Pleydell-Bouverie, 4th Earl of Radnor (1815-1889), Longford Castle, nr. Salisbury, before 1854 and still there in 1859 (see Waagen, under Literature), as by Raphael.

Literature

Possibly G. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, London 1854, vol. iii, p. 140, amongst pictures hanging in 'a long saloon and two adjoining apartments' at Longford Castle: "A female portrait, here ascribed to Raphael, and called his mistress, has nothing to do with this master, nor with the Fornarina, but has a certain severity of character. It appears to be also an excellent work by SEBASTIAN DEL PIOMBO";
Possibly G. Waagen, Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain, London 1857, p. 360, under 'Additions to the collection at Longford Castle': "RAPHAEL(?) - (137.) A female portrait. I must adhere to my already expressed opinion that this fine picture is by the hand of SEBASTIAN DEL PIOMBO."

Catalogue Note

Labels on the reverse (possibly dating from the early 20th century) attribute the painting to Cesare da Sesto and identify the sitter as Raphael's mistress, 'La Fornarina'. This identification goes back at least to the 19th century, when the painting was ascribed to Raphael, and this is attested to by other labels (of an earlier date) on the reverse; one with inventory number 12, the other stating "Saloon/ A Female Head supposed/ to be the head of Raphael's/ Mistress by/ Raphael." The latter would suggest that this panel might be identifiable with the painting seen by Dr. Gustav Waagen in the collection of the Earl of Radnor and described by him as hanging in the Saloon at Longford Castle, near Salisbury (see Provenance and Literature below). Waagen rejected the attribution to Raphael in favour of Sebastiano del Piombo, given the sitter's "severity of character"; an attribution that today cannot be sustained.

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