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PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Antonio Joli
PULA, A VIEW OF THE CITY ACROSS THE BAY WITH THE AMPHITHEATRE BEYOND
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
42

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Antonio Joli
PULA, A VIEW OF THE CITY ACROSS THE BAY WITH THE AMPHITHEATRE BEYOND
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London

Antonio Joli
MODENA 1700 - 1777 NAPLES
PULA, A VIEW OF THE CITY ACROSS THE BAY WITH THE AMPHITHEATRE BEYOND

Provenance

Louis Pessard, (1774–1855) and his wife Maria Domenica Anna Erba (1793–1876);

By descent to his son, Hector Albert Louis Pessard (1815–1890);

By descent to his son, Hector Louis François Pessard (1836–1895);

By descent to his son, Roger André Pessard (1873–1961);

By inheritance to his widow, Charlotte Françoise Léonie Hilaire (1896–1961);

By inheritance to her brother, Léon François Hilaire (1906–1978);

By descent to the current owners in 1978.

Catalogue Note

This newly-rediscovered view of the Croatian city of Pula is one of only three views of that city by Antonio Joli, surely the best-travelled artist of the eighteenth century. The painting has belonged to the same family for seven generations and once hung on the walls of Hector Louis François Pessard (fig. 1), the French intellectual and journalist who counted Victor Hugo and Emile Zola among his friends. In the family inventory of 1879 the work is listed as a view of Arles, the French coastal town which also boasts a Roman amphitheatre.

Born in Modena, Joli would spend most of his life travelling around Italy and further afield to Germany, Spain, Croatia and to England, where he would gain a fine reputation as a set-designer and vedutista. As a young man he travelled to Rome, where he studied the vedute and capricci of Giovanni Paolo Panini, under whom he almost certainly trained, and of Gaspar van Wittel. By 1718 he must have established himself in the Città Eterna for he was granted the important commission to decorate the Villa Patrizi in Rome, and by 20 April 1719 he had become a member of the Accademia di San Luca. He is first documented in Venice in the Spring of 1732 and here, once again, he would study and assimilate the style of the leading vedutisti, namely Canaletto, Marieschi and Carlevarijs.

The city of Pula on the Istrian peninsula, is immediately recognisable by its spectacularly well preserved Roman amphitheatre, built between 27 BC and 68 AD. The artist's two other known views of Pula are that formerly in the collection of the Earls of Winchelsea and Nottingham, sold in these Rooms, 9 December 1987, and that in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry.1

Following first-hand inspection, the attribution has been endorsed by Charles Beddington, to whom we are grateful.

1 See R. Toledano, Antonio Joli, Turin 2006, pp. 264–65, cat. nos V.V.III.1 and 2 respectively, both reproduced.

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London