Lot 71
  • 71

Antonio Joli

500,000 - 700,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Antonio Joli
  • A panoramic view of Catania, with Etna beyond; and A panoramic view of Palermo
  • a pair, both oil on canvas


C.G. Newcomb;
Mrs. Newcomb, by 1802, as noted by labels on reverse of the pictures;
Mrs Bryant (as by "Occhiali" [Vanvitelli]) as noted by labels on reverse of the pictures;
Private collection, probably purchased in England by 1950 or earlier, thence by descent;
Private collection, United Kingdom;
With Dickinson, London;
From whom acquired by the present owner.


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 pair of topographical views is in marvelous condition. The canvases have old linings which are effective. The paintings are clean. The fine details within the architecture of both compositions are unabraded. The only retouches to both pictures address a line of cracks in the upper sky that correspond to stretcher marks. The works 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

Views of Sicily, such as these, are extremely rare in Joli's oeuvre.  The Grand Tour did not normally include a visit to the island and presumably there was less demand for Sicilian subjects among the tourists who made up such a large part of the artist's patrons.  One of the few exceptions was John Montagu, Lord Brudenell (1735-1770).  Brudenell arrived in Genoa in December 1754 and remained in Italy until February 1760, spending several months in Sicily during 1756.  It is extremely likely that Brudenell was accompanied on at least a portion of his trip to Sicily by Joli, from whom he had already commissioned various views of Naples.  The present pair of pictures are based on two views made for Lord Brudenell.1  In contrast to his usual working method, Joli did not continue to repeat these compositions and A Panoramic View of Catania, with Etna Beyond and A Panoramic View of Palermo are the only known replicas of the Brudenell prototypes.2 

We are grateful to Dr. Ralph Toledano, who supports the attribution of these two views to Joli, on the basis of digital photographs. 

1.  See M. Manzelli, Antonio Joli:  opere pittorica, Venice 1999, p. 60, no. B.30, reproduced fig. 10 and p. 59, nos. B.21 and B.22, reproduced in color Tav. IX).
2.  The identification of these pictures and their relation to the Brudenell pair is based on an undated written communication from Charles Beddington given to us by the present owner.