26
26
Ottavio Maria Leoni
PORTRAIT OF DONNA MADALENA LOPEZ
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
26
Ottavio Maria Leoni
PORTRAIT OF DONNA MADALENA LOPEZ
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 21,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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Ottavio Maria Leoni
ROME 1587 - 1630
PORTRAIT OF DONNA MADALENA LOPEZ
Black and red chalk, heightened with white chalk, on faded blue paper;
inscribed with sitter's name in pen and brown ink, lower left:  Padouan Dona Madalena Lopez and numbered and inscribed, lower left: 435 / Aprile and dated lower centre:  1630
233 by 154 mm
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Provenance

Probably Ottavio Leoni,
by descent to his son Ippolito Leoni;
Probably Cardinal Scipione Borghese;
Probably Prince Marcantonio Borghese, 1642 (according to Giovanni Baglione);
Probably Jean Bouteroue Marquis d' Aubigny, Paris, sold in 1747;
Private Collection, France

Catalogue Note

This beautiful and sensitively drawn portrait by Leoni belongs to a corpus of more than four hundred drawings by the artist and some by his son Ippolito, which according to Giovanni Baglione were in the collection of the Prince Marcantonio Borghese (1601-1658), in 1642.1  The biography of Baglione is the only contemporary commentary on the artist's life. Baglione informs us that Ottavio Leoni was the leading portraitist of his time, in both drawings and paintings, but hardly any of the numerous painted portraits by the artist that are mentioned in old inventories, many of them made for his patron Scipione Borghese, have been identified.3

Baglione's biography of the artist emphasises the total faithfulness of these portraits, done from life, and as John Spike noted, 'he drew popes and children alike', regardless of any social differences or status, with great spontaneity, 'at rest during a moment in their daily rounds'.4  Spike has described how these drawings must have remained in the artist's possession, explaining how some four hundred drawings, executed over a fifteen-year span, could have acquired a single sequence of numbers.5  It seems that on 9 October 1630, shortly after Ottavio's sudden death, all the drawings that he left to his son, Ippolito, and all the paintings left to his wife, were sold to Cardinal Scipione Borghese.6

The present portrait and the gentleman portrayed in lot 28 are both exciting new additions to the corpus of previously identified sitters.

1.  G. Baglione, Le vite de' pittori, scultori, architetti ed intagliatori, dal ponteficato di Gregorio XIII dal 1572, fino a'tempi di Papa Urbano VIII nel 1642, Rome 1642, p. 321
2.  Ibid, pp. 321-322
3.  C.R. Robbin, 'Scipione Borghese's acquisition of paintings and drawings by Ottavio Leoni', The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 138, July 1996, pp. 453-454
4.  J.T. Spike, Baroque Portraiture in Italy: Works from North American Collections, Sarasota 1985, p. 18
5.  Ibid, p. 14
6.  Robbin, op. cit., p. 458, under Appendix, III

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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