25
25

PROPERTY FROM A COLLECTION FORMED BY SAAM AND LILY NYSTAD

Santi di Tito
PORTRAIT OF LUCREZIA, DAUGHTER OF NICCOLÒ DI SINIBALDO GADDI, STANDING FULL-LENGTH IN THE GARDEN OF THE PALAZZO GADDI, WITH A MACAW AND A JERBOA
Estimate
100,000150,000
JUMP TO LOT
25

PROPERTY FROM A COLLECTION FORMED BY SAAM AND LILY NYSTAD

Santi di Tito
PORTRAIT OF LUCREZIA, DAUGHTER OF NICCOLÒ DI SINIBALDO GADDI, STANDING FULL-LENGTH IN THE GARDEN OF THE PALAZZO GADDI, WITH A MACAW AND A JERBOA
Estimate
100,000150,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London

Santi di Tito
SANSEPOLCRO 1536 - 1602 FLORENCE
PORTRAIT OF LUCREZIA, DAUGHTER OF NICCOLÒ DI SINIBALDO GADDI, STANDING FULL-LENGTH IN THE GARDEN OF THE PALAZZO GADDI, WITH A MACAW AND A JERBOA
inscribed on the reverse: Claudia dei medici/ Nata.nel. 1604 Morta. 1648/ Dipinta da Cristofano Allori
oil on poplar panel
116.2 x 90.4 cm.; 45 3/4  x 35 1/2  in.
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Provenance

Lady Marion Phillimore (née Ives), wife of 2nd Lord Phillimore, died 1950, Coppid Hall, Oxfordshire, as Cristofano Allori;

By whom given in 1950 in honour of her late husband and her mother the Hon. Mrs Ives, to the Gedenkmuseum Phillimore Ives, Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa, where housed in Phillimore House (formerly Grosvenor House);

The donation anulled in 1961 under the terms of the deed of gift when the Union of South Africa left the British Commonwealth, and with the entire collection returned to the UK and subsequently sold;

Acquired by Saam and Lily Nijstad, The Hague, for their private collection, by 1984;

Thence by inheritance to the present owner.

Exhibited

Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa, Gedenkmuseum Phillimore Ives, 1951–1961, cat. no. 6 (as Cristofano Allori);

Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, Florence, Portraits à la cour des Médicis, 11 September 2015 – 25 January 2016, no. 35 (as Santi di Tito).

Literature

Gedenkmuseum Phillimore Ives, Geillustreerde Katalogus van de Phillimore Versameling, Stellenbosch 1951, p. 12, no. 6, reproduced p. 49 (as Cristofano Allori);

C. De Benedictis, Altari e committenza: Episodi a Firenze nell'età della Controriforma, Florence 1996, pp. 11–12, and p. 17, note 12;

V. Arrighi, in Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. LI, Rome 1998, pp. 164–65;

P. Costamagna in A. Chong (ed.), Raphael, Cellini & a Renaissance Banker: the patronage of Bindo Altoviti, Boston 2003, p. 345, reproduced figure 185 (as Santi di Tito);

C. Acidini-Luchinat, `Tre madrigali e alcune osservazioni sulla cappella Gaddi nella chiesa di Santa Maria Novella', in Giovanni Antonio Dosio da San Gimignano architetto e scultor fiorentino tra Roma, Firenze e Napoli, Florence 2011, pp. 333–34;

E. Barletti and A. Morrogh, `La `casa dell'orto' di Niccolò Gaddi', in Giovanni Antonio Dosio da San Gimignano architetto e scultor fiorentino tra Roma, Firenze e Napoli, Florence 2011, pp. 471, 486–88, reproduced p. 487;

A. F., in C. Falciani et al., Florence. Portraits à la Cour des Médicis, Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, exhibition catalogue, Paris 2015, pp. 173, 179, 180, and 194, no. 35, reproduced pp. 168 (detail), 178.

Catalogue Note

This portrait was painted by Santi di Tito around 1565, shortly after the artist's return to Florence following a brief stay in Rome. It was in Rome that Santi had first come into contact with a new style of portraiture, often commissioned by Florentine exiles, which he took back with him to Florence, helping to evolve a genre which in that city was still heavily dependent on the work of Santi di Tito's teacher Agnolo Bronzino. Such was the impact of his return and indeed of the present work that Costamagna (see under literature) writes, 'With the portrait of Lucrezia Gaddi, Santi di Tito inaugurated in Florence a prototype state portrait'. The outdoor setting marks a distinct shift in Florentine portraiture and finds its roots in Titian's Portrait of Clarice Strozzi, which Santi would have seen in Rome and which – perhaps not altogether coincidentally – depicts the daughter of Roberto Strozzi, a Florentine exile and cousin of the present sitter.

The sitter has most recently been identified as Lucrezia Gaddi, born in 1559 and the eldest child of Niccolò Gaddi (1537–1591), the Florentine ambassador to Mantua and later senator, and one of the most remarkable and important collectors of his time.1 In the past she was identified as Emilia Gaddi by comparison with another portrait by Santi di Tito which is unmistakably of the same sitter, portrayed half-length, wearing the same gold-embroidered dress and necklace (see fig. 2). Like the present work, it was exhibited in Paris in 2015 along with a pendant depicting Sinibaldo, Gaddi's son (see fig. 1).2 The half-length portrait of Lucrezia is however inscribed along the upper margin EMILIA FIG.A DI NIC.O DI SINIBALDO GADDI. Emilia was the name of Niccolò's first wife, and mother of Lucrezia and Sinibaldo, but not the given name of Lucrezia; however, the portrait may have been so inscribed in honour of the sitter's mother and grandmother. In both she is shown aged around five years old, wearing a blue gown with a partlet buttoned at the front, a fashion brought from the Spanish courts in the 1550s but which remains open at the neck with a ruff on the collar, as was favoured by Florentine women. The elaborate buttons and the embroidery on the sleeves, partlet and centre skirt became popular in the mid 1560s. In the present full-length portrait she is shown in her family gardens of the Palazzo Gaddi between Via del Melarancio and Via del Giglio, a stone's throw from the church of Santa Maria Novella – the pinnacle of whose campanile can be seen upper right – where Lucrezia was to be buried following her untimely death in 1569, and in which Niccolò had a family chapel built in 1575–76.3 The Cappella Gaddi was designed by Giovanni Antonio Dosi in an austere Michelangelesque style reminiscent of the architectural setting of the present portrait. Gaddi's choice of artists to decorate his chapel, with a relief by Giovanni Bandini and frescoes by Allessandro Allori, reflect his taste for the Bronzino tradition – indeed the altarpiece depicting Christ resuscitating the Daughter of Jain is a late work by the master – and makes his choice of Bronzino's old pupil Santi di Tito for the present portrait all the more logical.

Gaddi had developed a taste for art while buying for Granduca Cosimo I and from there began collecting with vigour, extending his tastes far beyond paintings and sculpture to artefacts, architectural drawings and botany. The galleria lunga in the gardens was lined with sculptures and busts, as seen here, and his collection is said to have been second only to that of the Medici.4 New plants and fruit trees from all over Europe and as far away as Egypt were imported for his beloved botanical gardens, known as the 'Paradiso dei Gaddi', as witnessed by the lemon trees to the right which would have recently arrived from Naples.5 His taste for the exotic is also alluded to with the macaw, which traders from the Americas had begun importing at the beginning of the century, and the jerboa, a leaping mouse known as 'topo delle piramidi' or 'pyramid mouse' due to its prevalence in the Egyptian deserts. De Benedictis proposes that the latter may serve as a symbol for mourning, thereby suggesting that the portrait (possibly painted posthumously) serves as a commemorative work to celebrate the life of Gaddi's daughter, who like all of his children, was not to survive childhood.6 It was Gaddi's express wish, as written in his Will, that the collection should remain intact after his death and that the museum be open to any nobleman passing through Florence who should wish to see it. However, with no heir the collection passed to his nephew and was soon broken up and sold.

The Gaddi family's association with Santi di Tito predates this picture by up to a decade. According to Baldinucci, one of the artist's first important commissions before his trip to Rome was the completion of a large altarpiece of the Epiphany by Sogliani, left unfinished at the latter's death. It was bought by Sinibaldo Gaddi, and given to Santi di Tito to finish, after which it was hung in the Gaddi chapel in the church of S. Domenico at Fiesole. This work must date from between 1554 and 1558, when the artist left for Rome.

This picture has long been associated with the Bronzino school. Called Cristofano Allori when in the Phillimore Ives collection, it was subsequently thought to be by Alessandro Allori. Simona Lecchini Giovannoni was the first to suggest that it might be Santi di Tito in a letter to Saam Nijstad dated 2 June 1985.

We are grateful to Mariena Kotze and Vanessa Phillips for their help in elucidating the Phillimore-Ives provenance and the circumstances of the Stellenbosch gift.   


 
1. She was first identified as Lucrezia by De Benedictis in 1996; see under literature.  

2. Exhibited, Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, 2015–16, nos 36 and 37. Both portraits were recently sold Florence, Pandolfini Casa d'Aste, 21 April 2015, lots 25 and 26 and are now in a Florentine private collection. A portrait of Giovanni Gaddi (1493–1542) traditionally thought to have come from the collection of the Gaddi family was sold London, Sotheby's, 5 December 2012, lot 18. To add to the confusion, Niccolò Gaddi also gave the name Lucrezia to his third child and second daughter, the first by his second wife, who was born in 1588.

3. The renaissance Palazzo Gaddi was pulled down and rebuilt in 1596. That structure still stands, and is now the Hotel Astoria – the small courtyard where breakfast may be taken corresponds to the space depicted here. 

4.  L'Osservatore Fiorentino Sugli Edifizj [sic] Della Sua Patria, vol. III, 1821, p. 58.

5.  Idem.

6.  See under literature.

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