Lot 10
  • 10

Carlo Dolci

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Carlo Dolci
  • Saint Jerome in prayer
  • dated lower center: 1655
  • oil on panel
  • 17 by 21 1/4 in.; 43 by 54 cm.


Probably in the collection of the Marchesi Capponi, Florence, from at least 1767 until at least 1842, when it hung in the picture gallery;
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, Georgia1;
Their sale, New York, Sotheby's, January 14, 1994, lot 35;
There purchased by Jean Luc Baroni, for Colnaghi, London;
From whom acquired by Luigi Koelliker, Milan and London, 2002-2009; 
By whom sold, New York, Sotheby's, 29 January 2009, lot 27, for $302,500;
There acquired.


Possibly, Florence, Cloister of Santissima Annunziata, 1767 (possibly on loan from Alessandro Maris Capponi);
Maastricht, Colnaghi, 11-19 March 1995;
New York and London, Colnaghi, Master Paintings, 7-30 May, 10 June - 11 July 1998, no. 13;
Massachusetts, Davis Museum at Wellesley College, The Medici's Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th century Florence, 8 February – 9 July 2017; North Carolina, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The Medici's Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th century Florence, 24 August 2017- 14 January  2018.


F. Fantozzi, Nuova guida, ovvero descrizione storico-artistico-critica della città e contorni di Firenze, Florence 1842, p. 398;
F. Borroni Salvadori, "Le esposizioni d'arte a Firenze dal 1764 al 1767," Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, vol. XVIII, no. 1, 1974, pp. 80-81;
Advertisement in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXXVII, no. 1103, February 1995, p. VIII, reproduced in color;
F. Baldassari, Carlo Dolci, Turin 1995, pp. 128-129, no. 101, reproduced in colour pl. XXVIII and fig. 101;
M. Gregori, M. Voena (eds.), Pittura Fiorentina Secolo XVII, (Koelliker collection catalogue), 2003, pp. 128-129, reproduced fig. 101;
S. Bellesi, Catologo dei Dittori Fiorentini del '600 e '700: Biografie e Opere, Florence 2009, vol. 1, p. 135;
F. Baldassari, Carlo Dolci: Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Florence, 2015, p. 222, no. 118;
W. Franits, “A Very Famous Dutch Painter: Schalcken in England, 1692-1696,” Schalcken. Gemalte Verführung, exhibition catalogue, Cologne 2015, p. 43, reproduced fig. 21;
W. Franits, "Schalcken in London: Self-Portraiture as Self-Promotion," Sonderdruck aus dem Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch, Band LXXVII, 2016, p. 22-23, reproduced fig. 2;
F. Baldassari and E. Straussman-Pflanzer, The Medici's Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th century Florence, New Haven 2017, p. 60, reproduced fig. 6.


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. The work on panel is restored and should be hung in its current condition. The panel is unreinforced on the reverse and it is not only flat but the paint layer is stable throughout. In the sky between the hands and the right edge there is a small rectangular insert which has been made into the panel, presumably by the panel maker to correct a knot or an uneven area of the wood. The painting seems to be completely unabraded, and although the sky has probably darkened slightly, in many respects the work is in excellent condition. At some point in its history, the work was vandalized and as a result there are a dozen or so scratches in the paint layer, running about 8 or 10 inches long, in the shoulder and the flank of the figure, and one scratch extends up the right forearm. Only one thin scratch interrupts the face, running through the eye on the left. The retouches to these scratches are the only retouches to the picture with the exception of a few dots around the extreme edges. Obviously these marks are worthy of note, but the restoration is excellent and these are not at all visible to the naked eye. The fact that the painting is so clearly unabraded certainly presents the image beautifully.
"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

Isolated in the wilderness, half naked and in silent prayer, Saint Jerome is depicted here with his usual attributes of the open book, the minutely observed skull, and the lion, here included in the shape of a dark stone ornament or paperweight. Dated 1655, it is a painting entirely consistent with Dolci's output in the 1650s, notably in the highly polished surfaces of the fleshtones and still life elements. Baldassari cites two other depictions of St. Jerome by Dolci, both of them earlier in date.  One of these, in a private collection, New York, she dates to circa 1635, and the other, in a different New York collection, she dates to circa 1647-48.2 A note on the Provenance:
In his Notizie... Filippo Baldinucci, a contemporary biographer of Dolci, mentions four paintings of St. Jerome by Dolci. Of these Francesca Baldassari has identified two, one painted for Agnolo Teri and another for Antonio Lorenzi. From further archival research she has identified several other references to paintings of St. Jerome, including one for the Abbot Eschini, one for the Bartolomei family and another for the Marchese Capponi.  Baldassari identifies the present work with the Capponi picture, described by Fantozzi in 1842 as "san Girolamo in orazione, opera insigne e del più finito stile, di C. Dolci,"4it being apparently the only treatment of the subject 'insigne' ('distinguished').5  The painting is first recorded in the Capponi collection in 1767, when it was exhibited in the Accademia di San Luca, and is last documented there by Fantozzi in 1842, where it is cited as hanging in the 'quadreria'.

1. While in this collection the painting suffered several intentional scratch marks, joining in the saint’s shoulder, but harming little of the important parts of the composition.  See condition report, available upon request.
2.  Baldassari, under Literature, p. 52, no. 21, reproduced and pp. 101, 103, no. 72, reproduced p. 103.
3.  F. Baldinucci, Notizie de' professori del disegno da Cimabue in qua, vol. V, Florence 1846 edition, p. 351.
4.  "St. Jerome in Prayer, an outstanding work and in the highly finished style of Carlo Dolci."
5.  See under Literature.