Lot 42
  • 42

Massimo Stanzione

300,000 - 500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Massimo Stanzione
  • Madonna and Child
  • signed in monogram lower left: EQ. MAX
  • oil on canvas


Probably Fürst Karl Eusebius von und zu Liechtenstein (1611-1684);
Fürstlich Liechtensteinische Gemäldegalerie, Vienna, by 1864 (inv. no. 59 according to an old label on the reverse);
From which sold by Fürst Johannes II von und zu Liechtenstein (1840-1929) in 1873;
With Newhouse Galleries, New York, 1956;
Selected by Mr. and Mrs. Kay Kimbell and acquired by the Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1956 (inv. no. 1956.ACF 56.1);
By whom de-accessioned and sold New York, Sotheby's, 4 June 1987, lot 93;
There purchased by the Ishizuka collection, Tokyo;
Anonymous sale, ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Christie's, 13 December 1991, lot 86;
Where acquired by Mauro Herlitzka and later sold to a private collector;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 12 July 2001, lot 66;
There acquired by the present collector. 


Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle, Guido Reni und Europa, Ruhm und Nachruhm, 1988-89, no. D47.


G. Parthey, Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichnis der in Deutschland vorhandenen Ölbilder verstorberner Maler aller Schulen, Berlin 1863-64, vol. II, p. 576;
G. F. Waagen, Die vornehmsten Kunstdenkmaler von Wien, Vienna 1866-67, vol. I, p. 264;
Falke, Catalogue of the Fürstlich Liechtensteinsche Gemälde Galerie, 1873, p. 9, cat. no. 59;
J. Denison Camplin, Jr., Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings, 1892, vol. IV, p. 217;
G. Williamson, Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, London 1903-4, vol. V, 
H. Comstock, "Liechtenstein Collection Madonna," in Connoisseur, vol. CXXXVII, June 1956, p. 289, reproduced;
K. Roberts, "The Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth," in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXIV, December 1972, p. 892;
Kimbell Art Museum: Catalogue of the Collection, Fort Worth, Texas 1972, pp. 57-58, reproduced;
Trafalgar Galleries at the Royal Academy II, exhibition catalogue, London, Trafalgar Galleries 1979, under cat. no. 20, reproduced, fig. 2;
Kimbell Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection, Fort Worth, Texas 1981, p. 141, reproduced;
C. Felton, "Southern Baroque," in Encyclopedia of World Art, vol. XVI (Supplement), New York and London 1983, p. 181;
P. L. de Castris, in Civilità del Seicento a Napoli, exhibition catalogue, Naples 1984-1985, vol. I, pp. 178, 483;
W. Prohaska, "Guido Reni und die neapolitanische Malerei im 17. Jahrhundert," in Guido Reni und Europa, Ruhm und Nachruhm, exhibition catalogue, Frankfurt 1988-89, p. 660, cat. no. D47, reproduced; 
S. Schutze and T. Willette, Massimo Stanzione, L'Opera completa, Naples 1992, pp. 231-232, cat. no. A84, reproduced, fig. 283, and in color plate XXVI. 


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 well restored. The condition of the two faces is very impressive. Although there are a few retouches in the child's face, they are not significant. The retouches are more numerous in his arm and torso. There is a similar concentration of retouching in the left hand of Mary. There are retouches visible under ultraviolet light in the plinth in the lower left. There are retouches in the blue gown worn of the Madonna in her knee in the lower center that are not visible under ultraviolet light. The condition of the background seems to be good, and the maroon gown is well preserved. The lining is good and there is no particular reason to re-examine the retouches. The work should be hung as is.
"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 Madonna and Child by Massimo Stanzione formed part of the illustrious Liechtenstein collection at least as early as 1864, where it is mentioned by Parthey (see Literature). It was most probably first acquired by the connoisseur, patron and collector, Fürst Karl Eusebius von und zu Liechtenstein (1611-1684) who may have commissioned it from the artist himself during his trip to Italy in 1636, a time when he acquired and commissioned a large number of works, both paintings and sculpture, for his residence at Feldsberg. A particularly sympathetic patron to contemporary artists, Karl Eusebius commissioned paintings from Guido Reni in Bologna, Artemesia Gentileschi in Naples, and from Jusepe de Ribera - perhaps his most famous commission - a series of twelve Philosophers (see J. T. Spike, "Liechtenstein: The Princely Collections," in Apollo, vol. CXXIII, January 1986, pp. 5-9). Karl Eusebius almost certainly had agents in Naples - the names Lorenzo Cambi and Simone Verzone have been proposed - who coordinated the commissions, supervised the completion and shipment of works. 

This picture can be dated on stylistic grounds to the early to mid-1640s, only a few years after Karl Eusebius' visit to Italy in 1636. Strongly Raphaelesque in inspiration, the composition combines a sweetness of sentiment with a solidity of form. The Madonna's sumptuous robes, painted in contrasting colors and shades are completmented by a red-green silk scarf draped across her monumental figure, swirling across the picture plane in a serpentine pattern. The Madonna finds strong parallels with the same figure in Stanzione's Rest on the Flight to Egypt in the John and Mable Ringling Museum, Sarasota, where her left hand loosely clasps the drapery in a similar gesture, and the physiognomy of the Madonna is almost identical. Both the Sarasota picture and the present work are signed EQ. MAX, an abbreviated form of the title Eques Maximus, a title which Stanzione often used in an effort to elevate his role as artist into the realm of the emerging professional elite.