Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 17 January 1992, lot 38, for £120,000.
D. Sanguineti, Domenico Piola, e I pittori della sua 'casa', Soncino 2004, vol. II, p. 426, cat. no. I.142, reproduced p. 562, fig. 246.
Sanguineti notes that the undulating draperies and distinctive faces date this canvas to the late ’70s. She identifies this beautiful figure, with her torch held aloft, as representing an allegory of Summer, and as probably serving as one from a series depicting the seasons that were perhaps created as overdoors. An identification as Prosperine seems more likely: she was the beautiful daughter of Ceres, goddess of agriculture, who was abducted by Hades, King of the Underworld, but who returned to Earth every Spring. Here she is shown emerging from the underworld, her path lit by the torch with which she is traditionally identified, the winged putti at her side strewing spring flowers as they go.
The canvas has been relined. The paint surface is slightly unclean and the varnish is moderately discoloured. Ultra violet inspection reveals a milky varnish. There is one 35 cm long vertical restoration, which is presumably from an old tear. There are a handful of minor spot retouchings in her drapery. There is a superficial 10 cm restoration in her proper left sleeve. There is another slightly larger restoration in her proper right arm. There is some minor restoration in her face and some further spot retouching in the putto on the right. overall the painting is in very good condition. The work is offered in a carved and gilt wood frame. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."