- Circle of Giovanni Stanchi
- Anthropomorphic allegory of summer
- oil on canvas
- 52 7/8 by 38 in.; 134 by 96.5 cm.
Anonymous sale, Venice, Semenzato, 25 October 1987, lot 133 (as Pietro Paolo Bonzi, with its pendant Autumn).
G. Bocchi and U. Bocchi (eds.), Pittori di natura morta a Roma, artisti Italiani 1630-1750, Viadana 2005, pp. 273, 275, and 318, reproduced in color (as Giovanni Stanchi, possibly from his workshop, and location unknown).
Giovanni Stanchi was influenced by the Milanese artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who was very successful at the courts of Vienna and Prague for his unusual anthropomorphic designs. Arcimboldo's works were celebrated for their wit and artifice, and were much imitated during the artist's lifetime as witnessed with the present paintings. This style of painting resonate with artists well into the twentieth century, particularly with the Surrealists and Salvador Dalí.
The author of this high quality Allegory of Summer (along with the previous lot, Allegory of Autumn) was clearly aware of Stanchi's work, which followed Arcimboldo's anthropomorphic type. It is likely that the figurative composition may have originated in Stanchi's studio in Rome circa 1645-1672, since he presided over hugely a family workshop. A set of the Four Seasons attributed to Stanchi, in which the same two allegories are depicted, were sold London, Sotheby's, 6 December 2017, lot 23, for 465,000 GBP (623,333 USD).