39
39
Simon Vouet
PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, PROBABLY URSULA DA VEZZO, SISTER-IN-LAW OF THE ARTIST, AS SAINT CATHERINE
Estimate
120,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
39
Simon Vouet
PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, PROBABLY URSULA DA VEZZO, SISTER-IN-LAW OF THE ARTIST, AS SAINT CATHERINE
Estimate
120,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings & Sculpture Evening Sale

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New York

Simon Vouet
PARIS 1590 - 1649
PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN, PROBABLY URSULA DA VEZZO, SISTER-IN-LAW OF THE ARTIST, AS SAINT CATHERINE

Provenance

Private collection, Naples;
With Galerie Silvano Lodi, Lugano;
There acquired by the present collector.

Literature

A. Lemoine, Nicolas Tournier et la peinture caravagesque en Italie, en France et en Espagne, Méridiennes 2003, p. 57, fig. 5;
N. Spinosa, Pittura del Seicento a Napoli, Da Caravaggio a Massimo Stanzione, Naples 2010, p. 31, reproduced;
O. Bonfait and H. Rousteau-Chambon, Simon Vouet en Italie, Rennes 2011, p. 245, fig. 1.

Catalogue Note

One of the most important and influential French artists of the 17th century, Simon Vouet was born in Paris but traveled from an early age.  He was in England by the age of fourteen and spent time painting in Constantinople in 1611-12.  The following year he moved to Italy, and though he spent time in Venice, Naples, Bologna, Milan and Florence, it was in Rome where his career flourished.  He received a pension from King Louis XIII and remained in Italy for fourteen years, absorbing the influences of the Caravaggisti as well as the more classicizing styles of the Carracci and Guido Reni.  Upon returning to Paris in 1627, Vouet became the Premier peintre du Roi, a title he held until his death in 1649. He is credited with bringing the Italian Baroque style to France. 

The present portrait likely dates from the 1620s, when the artist was still in Rome.  While most of his work from that period consists of large-scale, religious compositions, he also completed a number of easel paintings, usually single-figure portraits, often using his family members as models. There are at least two other works similar to the present painting, and historians previously believed the face in all three portraits to be that of his wife, Virginia da Vezzo, whom he married in 1626, one year before his departure for Rome.1  Her distinguished Mediterranean features—large, black curls and dark, somber eyes—are recognizable in various Vouet paintings, most notably The Circumcision in 1622.2 

The woman in the present painting was traditionally thought to also be Vouet's wife, given her similar features.  However, a painting by Vouet recently on the Parisian art market and featuring the same woman has altered this identification.  That painting came from the dal Pozzo collection and, as with many works from that collection, bears a Latin inscription on the reverse, which identifies the sitter as Ursula da Vezzo, the sister of Virginia and sister-in-law to Vouet.3  


1. See J-P. Cuzin, "Jeunes gens par Simon Vouet et quelques autres. Notes sur Vouet portraitiste en Italie," La Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France, 1979, n°1, p. 19.
2. Naples, Eglise Sant'Angelo a Segno (now at the Museo di Capodimonte).  See J. Thullier, Vouet, Paris 1990, cat. no. 14, illus. p. 211.
3. The Latin inscription reads: URSULA VULGO LA CURSORA SIMON VOET QUAM DEPERIBAT PINXIT

Master Paintings & Sculpture Evening Sale

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New York