Lot 115
  • 115

Santi di Tito

40,000 - 60,000 USD
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  • Santi di Tito
  • Portrait of Marie de' Medici
  • oil on canvas
  • 50 3/4  by 39 in.; 128.9 by 99 cm. 


Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844), Ramsbury Manor, Wiltshire (according to a label on the reverse). 


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work has obviously not been restored for many years. The paint layer is noticeably very dirty. The canvas has an old glue lining. The lining appears to still be successful, except in one area on the right side in the shoulder of the figure, where a more recent small break in the canvas and paint loss has occurred. Although there are numerous visibly discolored retouches, particularly in the background and upper left, the paint layer does not appear to be abraded. All of the lace and decoration in the figure's clothing is in lovely condition. There is a restored horizontal break across the left hand of the figure, and a large restoration running from the left side of the head to about 4 inches from the left edge. The face does not appear to have any damages. Some restoration certainly needs to be carried out, but the condition will be revealed to be good with proper cleaning and structural work.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

In his biography of Santi di Tito, Baldinucci notes the artist’s special talent for portraiture: “Fu portato dal genio, non meno che dal desiderio del guadagno, a fare ritratti, come quegli che possedendo una istraordinaria sicurezza nel disegno, gli conducea con gran facilità e somigliantissimi dal vivo (He was moved by his artistic ability, as well as a desire for profit, to paint portraits-- and like all those who have exceptional skill in drawing, it leads them with great ease to make striking likenesses taken from life) [F. Baldinucci, Notizie... Florence 1846, reissued 1974, vol. II, p. 540]."   The writer then goes on to list numerous examples in the collections of some of the most prominent families in Florence.  The present Portrait of Marie de' Medici is typical of the type of work which the artist produced, reflecting the continued influence of his master Bronzino tempered with his own more naturalistic approach.  This royal and formal portrait of the Florentine born Queen of France, in an elaborately jeweled and embellished dress, is known in a few versions of varying size and format, including two full-length examples in the Uffizi. 

A note on the Provenance:
Francis Burdett succeeded his grandfather Sir Robert Burdett (1716-1797) as 5th baronet in 1797, inheriting estates at Foremark and Bramcote, Warwickshire.  In 1800 he also inherited Ramsbury from his aunt.  He married Sophia, the youngest daughter and coheir of the London banker Thomas Coutts (1735-1822).  He entered Parliament in 1796 and would go on to become an influential radical politician, championing free speech, personal liberty, the harsh treatment of prisoners, as well as other reforms. He was a patron of the arts, and sat to Thomas Lawrence (London, National Portrait Gallery), among others.