180
180

THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Nicolas Tournier
ESAU SELLING HIS BIRTHRIGHT TO JACOB FOR A POTTAGE OF LENTILS
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 87,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
180

THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Nicolas Tournier
ESAU SELLING HIS BIRTHRIGHT TO JACOB FOR A POTTAGE OF LENTILS
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 87,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Day Sale

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London

Nicolas Tournier
MONTBÉLIARD, DOUBS 1590 - BEFORE FEBRUARY 1639 TOULOUSE
ESAU SELLING HIS BIRTHRIGHT TO JACOB FOR A POTTAGE OF LENTILS

Exhibited

Turin, Esposizione Nazionale di Belli Arti, 1880 (as Italian School; according to an old label on the reverse).

Catalogue Note

Nicolas Tournier was one of the leading French followers of Caravaggio, whose paintings he would have studied in person during his stay in Rome between approximately 1615 and 1626. The present work was probably painted early on his stay in Rome, as suggested by Dottor Gianni Papi, who endorses the attribution to Tournier. Papi draws direct parallels between the present work and the Hypocrite, another early work by Tournier in the Uffizi, Florence.1 The mise-en-scène of the two designs is analogous: the figure to the right is bathed in light and faces the other figure to the left, whose body and face are mostly in shadow; the figure to the left extends his arm towards the other protagonist. Jacob's yellow clothing finds close parallels with the gambler to the far right in Tournier's Denial of Peter, in Atlanta.2

X-ray imaging (fig. 1) reveals various pentimenti: Jacob's left index finger was once straight; his hair was more coiffed, and may have been under some sort of headgear; the placement of Esau's extended arm was changed, while the sling around his chest was added later by the artist.

1 Nicolas Tournier, Un peintre caravaggesque, 1590–1639, exh. cat., Toulouse 2001, pp. 86–87, cat. no. 4, reproduced in colour.
2 Toulouse 2001, pp. 104–06, cat. no. 12, reproduced in colour.

Old Masters Day Sale

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