Lot 9
  • 9

Antonio Joli

150,000 - 200,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Antonio Joli
  • Aranjuez, View of La Iglesia y la Plaza de San Antonio
  • oil on canvas


Sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 29 April 1982, lot 33, as ‘Place d’animée’;
With Rafael Valls, London, presumably by whom acquired from the above sale;
From whom believed to have been acquired by the present owner in around 1982–83.


R. Toledano, Antonio Joli, Turin 2006, p. 255, no. S.VIII.1, reproduced.


The following condition report is provided by Sarah Walden who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Antonio Joli. Aranjuez, View of La Iglesia y La Plaza de San Antonio. This painting has a recent lining and restoration, with a rather older stretcher. There has been some old damage: a fairly large retouching can be seen under ultra violet light in the centre left of the great plaza, just before the horse drawn carriage, which has not been affected. Several other quite wide knocks have been retouched along the top edge in the sky, mainly towards the upper left corner, with a few others down the right edge near the gate, and minor retouchings along the base edge. These have all been well integrated. There are only tiny touches in the sky otherwise and all the essential areas of the painting including the figures and detail in the architecture are nicely intact. This report was not done under laboratory conditions.
"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

This rare view of La Iglesia y la Plaza de San Antonio, Aranjuez, by Antonio Joli dates from the artist’s brief sojourn in Spain, where he worked at the court of King Ferdinand VI from around 1749–54. Aranjuez is a small town that lies some thirty miles to the south of Madrid, and Joli painted a handful of topographical views of it and in particular the royal palace, which was originally commissioned by Philip II in 1574, and became a popular retreat for the Spanish monarchs from busy court life in Madrid.  

The scene depicts La Iglesia y la Plaza de San Antonio in Aranjuez, with the gate to the formal palace gardens visible on the right of the scene and the royal coach appearing in the left foreground heading for the main entrance gate to the palace. In the centre of the square is the Fuente del Rey, which was constructed between July 1750 and May 1752 by Juan Domingo Olivieri to a design by Santiago Bonavia, and which is dominated by a statue of Ferdinand VI, made from marble imported from Carrara. The present version can likely be dated circa 1753–54 on account of the depiction of the imposing Iglesia de San Antonio in the centre background, which was built to a design by Giacomo Bonavia and was not completed until March 1753. 

According to Dr. Ralph Toledano (see under Literature) the present work has an inscription on the back of the original canvas (now covered by the lining canvas) stating: ‘eduta srd primo iagio d’Aranjuez 175? Joli ft.’, indicating the artist painted the work during his first visit to Aranjuez, which means that almost certainly it is the prime version of the composition, which is also known in two subsequent versions: a larger work (77 by 125.5 cm.) today in the collection of Juan Abelló in Madrid; and another, slightly larger than the present work (42 by 77 cm.) sold Madrid, Edmund Peel & Asociados, 20 November 1992, lot 13 and today in a private collection. Each of the versions displays numerous changes to the details of the figures, underscoring the highly creative working process of the artist.