56
56

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF J.E. SAFRA

Claude Vignon
JOSEPH INTERPRETING DREAMS IN PRISON
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 435,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
56

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF J.E. SAFRA

Claude Vignon
JOSEPH INTERPRETING DREAMS IN PRISON
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 435,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

|
New York

Claude Vignon
TOURS 1593 - 1670 PARIS
JOSEPH INTERPRETING DREAMS IN PRISON
signed center right on the entablement: Vignon jn/f
oil on canvas
53 7/8  by 74 in.; 136 by 188 cm.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Godefroy de Beaumont, Paris;
His sale, Paris, 28 April 1823, lot 37;
Private collection, Orleans;
With Gallerie Heim, Paris;
Speelman, London, by 1963;
With Old Master Galleries, London, by January 1973;
Sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 29 April 1974 (not in the catalogue);
With Herner-Wengraf, London, 1975;
With Colnaghi, London, 1976;
Charles de Beistegui (1894-1970), Château de Groussay, Montfort l'Amaury;
Thence by descent to his nephew, Juan de Beistegui;
By whom sold, Sotheby's, Montfort l'Amaury, Château de Groussay (auction on the premises, 3 June 1999, lot 558.

Literature

G. Isarlo, Caravage et le Caravagisme Européen, Aix-en-Provence 1941, vol. II, p. 252;
W. Fischer, "Claude Vignon," in Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboeck, 1962-1963, XIV, no. 47, p. 179, reproduced fig. 51, p. 171 (as circa 1623);
B. Nicolson, "Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions," in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXV, January 1973, p. 52, reproduced fig. 53 (as circa 1620);
A. Brejon de Lavergnée and J.-P. Cuzin, Valentin et les caravagesques français, exhibition catalogue, Paris 1974, p. 254 (as signed and dated 162[3]?);
P. Pacht Bassani, "Claude Vignon," in Storia dell'Arte, no. 28, 1976, pp. 274-275, under note 50, p. 275, under note 77, p. 283, reproduced fig. 27;
J.-P. Cuzin, "Jeunes gens par Simon Vouet et quelques autres. Notes sur Vouet portraitiste en Italie," in La Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France, no. 1, 1979, p. 28, under note 39;
B. Nicolson, The International Caravagesque Movement. Lists of Pictures by Caravaggio and his Followers throughout Europe from 1590 to 1650, Oxford 1979, p. 107 (as signed and dated 162(?), wrongly mentioned as being in the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico)
B. Nicolson, Caravaggism in Europe, 2nd ed. rev. & enlarged by Luisa Vertova, Turin 1990, vol. I, p. 206, cat. no. 786, vol. II, reproduced fig. 786 (as signed and dated 162(?), wrongly mentioned as being in the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico);
P. Pacht Bassani, Peintres français du XVIIe siècle, exhibition catalogue, Charenton 1986, pp. 278-279;
P. Grate, French Paintings I Seventeenth Century, Swedish National Art Museums, vol.1, Stockholm 1988, p. 62 and 64;
P. Pacht Bassani, Claude Vignon 1593-1670, Paris 1992, pp. 209-210, cat. no. 63, reproduced fig. 63 (as signed on the stone pedestal, date effaced);
P. Malgouyres, Peintures françaises du XVIIe siècle: La collection du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, Rouen 2000, p. 209, under cat. no. 189.

Catalogue Note

This magnificent, large-scale canvas by Claude Vignon combines the Caravaggesque elements that the artist absorbed in Italy with his preferred Mannerist style, as seen in the undulating poses of the figures and bold use of color in Joseph's outfit. The subject of the painting comes from Genesis, in which Joseph, the young son of Jacob, explains his dreams to two of the King of Egypt's servants, who were imprisoned for having incurred the King's disfavor.    

Though the date is no longer visible, Herner Weingraf (see Provenance) recorded it as 1623 before the work was restored, and scholars agree that a dating of 1620-1623, shortly after Vignon's return to Paris from Italy, is stylistically accurate.  After his return from Rome in 1623 Vignon very quickly ingratiated himself into the court of Louis XIII which allowed him to experiment further with his art, so that as seen here, there were early signs of his taste for the exotic, and of the electric brushwork and unusual combination of colors that characterize his later paintings. 

Claude Vignon was a remarkably prolific and important French painter of the 17th century, whose style exhibits the influence of his many travels throughout Europe during his career.  Born in Tours, he received his early training in Paris and though he was first recorded in Rome by 1618, he was likely based there from as early as 1610.  He was part of the community of French painters working in Rome in the wake of Caravaggio's death, including Simon Vouet and Valentin de Boulogne, who were greatly influenced by the master as well as his closest follower, Bartolomeo Manfredi.  Vignon's style, particularly after his return to Paris by his marriage in 1623, exhibits a sensitivity to the mannerist styles and colors of Northern artists.  

Another composition by Vignon of a young singer, half-length, repeats Joseph's pose and costume; his right hand has simply been downturned to grasp a songsheet, transforming him from the Old Testament hero into an anonymous vocalist.2 A copy of the figure of Joseph is also recorded.Vignon returned to the subject in a large-scale painting of circa 1643, now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen.3

The present painting comes from the famous collection of Charles de Bestegui, which was sold at his residence, the Château de Groussay in France, by Sotheby’s in 1999. 



1. Recorded in Pacht Bassani 1992 (see Literature) as lost, the painting re-emerged at auction, London, Sotheby's, 6 December 2012, lot 189.
2. P. Pacht Bassani, 1992, under Literature, p. 210, cat. no. 63 C, reproduced, now lost.
3. Inv. no. SR 71.  See P. Malgouyres under Literature, p. 208-9, cat. no. 189, reproduced.

Master Paintings Evening Sale

|
New York