- Jacopo Amigoni
- The Assumption of the Virgin
- oil on canvas
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
Much of Amigoni's early career was spent in Southern Germany, particularly at the Bavarian court, where he received numerous prestigious commissions including fresco decorations for Nymphenburg, Schloss Schleissheim and for the Abbey of Ottobeuren, which are amongst his most important works. He also produced a number of gallery and easel pictures, and the present Assumption of the Virgin would appear to date to these years. It has stylistic affinities with paintings such as the Adoration of the Magi (Altepinakothek, Munich, inv. 2392). At least one other picture of the subject by Amigoni is recorded; an altarpiece of the Assumption was mentioned in a period reference in the Jesuit collegium in Hamburg (now apparently lost).1
It is tempting to identify the present canvas with one listed in the collection of Franz Ignaz von Dufresne, the Bavarian Minister of Finance, whose collection included an astonishing number of works by Amigoni. In his sale in Munich in 1769, there is listed as lot 220 "La vierge monte au ciel. Peinte sur toile, marquée du No. 41.... 4. pieds de haut sur 2 p. 5 1/2 de large." Although the present work does not still bear an inventory number, the sizes of the two pictures roughly correspond, assuming that the catalogue's measurements -- like its language -- are in French pouces rather than the local Bavarian units (this would be approximately 129.9 by 79.8 centimeters, thus very slightly taller, but almost exactly the same across).
1. "Amigonius pinxit Tabulam in Templo Gymnasy Ambergensis quae representat Assumptionis B. Virginis [Amigoni painted a picture in the chapel of the school of Hamburg which depicts the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin]" as cited by A. Scarpa Sonino, Jacopo Amigoni, Soncino 1994, p. 74.