Lot 55
  • 55

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, called Viterbese

120,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, called Viterbese
  • Narcissus
  • oil on copper


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 work on copper has recently been restored and should be hung in its current condition. The copper is flat and unreinforced on the reverse. The paint layer is stable. There are only a few tiny spots of retouching in the blue hills beyond the figure on the left and a few spots in his gown. The work is in excellent 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

In 1646, whilst under the employment of Cardinal Barberini in Rome, Romanelli was sent to Paris and commissioned by Cardinal Jules Mazarin to decorate the new galleries in the Hôtel de Chevry-Tubeuf, (now the Galerie Mazarine in the Bibliothèque Nationale) which were to house Mazarin’s impressive collection of art.1  The ceilings were decorated with mythological scenes and allegorical figures, among them, framed within a gilt stucco device, is an analogous treatment of the present subject.   The position of the Mazarin Narcissus is reversed; however, the treatment of the protagonist is very similar, most notably in his drapery and in the pose of his impressively foreshortened head, downcast as he gazes into the water. 

1.  N. Gauk-Roger, “Giovanni Francesco Romanelli”, in Dictionary of Art, London and New York 1996, vol. 26, pp. 565 – 566.