Lot 18
  • 18

Jacopo da Ponte, called Jacopo Bassano Francesco da Ponte, called Francesco Bassano the Younger Bassano del Grappa circa 1510 - 1592 Bassano del Grappa circa 1549 - 1592 Venice

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Jacopo da Ponte, called Jacopo Bassano
  • Jacob's Journey
  • oil on canvas


George Fulke, 2nd Baron Lyttelton (1763-1828);
Thence by descent to Charles John Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham;
Hagley Hall near Stourbridge, Worcestershire;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, July 11, 1973, lot 26 (as Jacopo Bassano), to Villiers Gallery;
Anonymous sale ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Christie's, April 10, 1981, lot 61 (as by Jacopo Bassano);
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, December 6, 1989, lot 22 (as by Jacopo Bassano);
With Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York.


Birmingham, Great Britain, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1926;
Birmingham, Great Britain, City Museum and Art Gallery, Jubilee Commemorative Exhibition of Art Treasures of the Midlands, 1934, no. 110;
London, Lowndes Lodge Gallery, Exhibition in Aid of Venice in Peril Fund, October-November 1971, no. 2;
Tulsa, Philbrook Museum of Art, on loan August 1995-August 1997;
Milwaukee, Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Italian Renaissance Masters, January 25-May 20, 2001, no. 4, reproduced in color p. 48.


A Catalogue of Pictues at Hagley Hall, 1811 (as by J. Bassano);
E.K. Waterhouse, in Italian Art and Britain, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy, London 1960, p. 19, under no. 11;
J. Shearman, The Early Italian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 1983, p. 26, under no. 19 (as a workshop replica);
V. Romani, in Jacopo Bassano c. 1510-1592, exhibition catalogue, Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, January 23-April 25, 1993, p. 340, under no. 33 (as "...a product of Jacopo's workshop...");
W.R. Rearick, in Jacopo Bassano c.1510-1592, exhibition catalogue, Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, January 23-April 25, 1993, p. 112, footnote. 213 ("A bright and attentive version...is, once again, Francesco's immediate replica after the original");
A. Ballarin, Jacopo Bassano Tavole, vol. II, 1996 Cittadella, p. 45, reproduced fig. no. 764 (as Studio of Jacopo Bassano).


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com , an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This painting has been recently restored and could be hung as is. The canvas is originally made of two sections joined horizontally through the center above the heads of the horses. The canvas has been lined and the surface is stable. The paint layer is cleaned, varnished and retouched. The sky is slightly worn and has become darker over time, but this is to be expected. The condition of the figures and the foreground in general is very respectable. On the right side of the picture, retouches have been sparingly applied to some isolated losses. On the left side, particularly on the far left, there are restorations in the face, back, shoulders and dress of the standing woman in pink and in the child and lamb. The seated child in this area also shows restorations in his leg and shirt. The remainder of the picture is in noticeably better condition. Although there is restoration in the lower left, this retouching is well done, and we would recommend the picture be hung as is. Overall, we are generally encouraging about the condition.
"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."

Catalogue Note

Numerous opinions have been set forth regarding the attribution of the present painting.  Most recently, it has been suggested that it was painted in collaboration by Jacopo Bassano and his son Francesco.  Ballarin, however, considers this to be a studio replica of a painting at Hampton Court, and Rearick suggests that it is a studio variant that was mostly painted by Francesco and retouched by Jacopo (see Literature).

Jacopo Bassano treated the present subject several times throughout his career. An autograph work in the Royal Collection, Hampton Court, is considered to be the earliest rendition of this subject.  Other versions include a Jacob's Journey in Palazzo Ducale, Venice; one formerly in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne; and the present composition.  The present picture can in fact be dated to circa 1560 based on the Hampton Court picture. 

The subject, somewhat obscure to the modern viewer, must have been easily recognizable to Jacopo's contemporaries and was in fact a very popular subject at that time. It was, however, misidentified for decades due to an erroneous old catalogue description of the collection of Charles I of England where another version of the painting was entitled "Abraham".  In that story, Abraham, aged seventy-five, went to Canaan accompanied by Sarah and Lot (see Genesis 12:1-5).  In the story of Jacob's Journey, on the other hand, the Bible tells of a younger man, in the prime of his life, accompanied by his wives Rachel and Leah, his children and his livestock (see Genesis 31: 17-21). The iconography of the present composition and of the related versions is clearly more closely related to the story of Jacob than that of Abraham.