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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Attributed to Giovanni Stanchi
THE FOUR SEASONS: FOUR ANTHROPOMORPHIC FIGURES
JUMP TO LOT
23

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Attributed to Giovanni Stanchi
THE FOUR SEASONS: FOUR ANTHROPOMORPHIC FIGURES
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London

Attributed to Giovanni Stanchi
ROME 1608 - AFTER 1673
THE FOUR SEASONS: FOUR ANTHROPOMORPHIC FIGURES
Quantity: 4
a set of four, each oil on canvas, unframed
each: 130 x 91 cm.; 51 1/4  x 35 3/4  in.
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Provenance

Sale ('Property from the Wilson Estate, Arizona - Michael Taylor Design'), New York, Christie's, 6 June 2012, lot 34 (as Follower of Giuseppe Arcimboldo);
With David Koetser, Zurich;
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2012 (as Giovanni Stanchi).

Catalogue Note

Ultimately inspired by the work of the Milanese Cinquecento painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the inventor and greatest exponent of the anthropomorphic figure, this set of canvases depicting the Four Seasons were probably painted by the Roman painter Giovanni Stanchi. The attribution is based on stylistic affinities with Stanchi's more standardised still lifes of fruit and flowers. Copies and versions of these works have been associated with Stanchi for some time.

The idea of the anthropomorphic figure probably came to Stanchi via the examples of Francesco Zucchi, a painter of Florentine birth and a contemporary of Caravaggio who is in fact now credited with some of the still lifes previously thought to be Caravaggio's own. Zucchi's own set of the Four Seasons is thought to be the direct inspiration for the design of three of the present four compositions (all except Spring, which differs in its frontal, rather than profile, pose).1 The attribution of his Four Seasons is based on a comparison with the single anthropomorphic figure on which Luigi Salerno found the initials FZ in the 1980s.2

Another set of the seasons in which all four, including Spring, follow the example of Zucchi, are recorded by Bocchi in an unknown location and attributed to Giovanni Stanchi.3 The present set compares favourably with these and indeed seems to be of higher quality and certainly in a better state of preservation. Bocchi records a further example of Autumn and one of Summer, by Stanchi and also in an unknown location.4 As with all of Stanchi's best still lifes the present examples are characterised by their rich colouring and expert modelling of the still-life elements. 

1. See L. Salerno, La natura morta italiana, Rome 1984, reproduced p. 55, figs 14.3–6.

2. Naples, Capodimonte. Ibid., p. 53, fig. 14.1.

3. G. and U. Bocchi, Pittori di natura morta a roma, artisti italiana 1630–1750, Viadana 2005, reproduced p. 274, figs FS.31–FS.34.

4. Bocchi 2005, p. 275, figs FS.35–36.

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London