364
364

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ITALIAN COLLECTION

Federico Zandomeneghi
ITALIAN
THE EARTHLY PARADISE
Estimate
100,000150,000
JUMP TO LOT
364

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ITALIAN COLLECTION

Federico Zandomeneghi
ITALIAN
THE EARTHLY PARADISE
Estimate
100,000150,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
London

Federico Zandomeneghi
1841 - 1917
ITALIAN
THE EARTHLY PARADISE
indistinctly stamped with the Atelier stamp (lower left)
oil on canvas
74 by 92.5cm., 29 by 36½in.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Archivi Boldini-De Nittis-Zandomeneghi (no. 418275).

Provenance

(Possibly) Estate of the Artist
Private collection, Paris
Luigi Bordoli, Pavia
Edmondo Sacerdoti, Milan
Purchased from the above by the father of the present owner in the late 1980s

Exhibited

Venice, Ca' Pesaro & Milan, Palazzo Reale, Zandomeneghi. Un veneziano a Parigi, 1988, no. 50, illustrated in the catalogue (as dating from circa 1895)
Milan, Fondazione Mazzotta, Federico Zandomeneghi. Impressionista veneziano, 2004, no. 18, illustrated in the catalogue
Castiglioncello, Centro per l'arte Diego Martelli, Dai Macchiaioli agli Impressionisti. Il mondo di Zandomeneghi, 2004, no. 72, illustrated in the catalogue
Roma, Chiostro del Bramante, Federico Zandomeneghi. Un veneziano tra gli Impressionisti, 2005-06, no. 64, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Enrico Piceni, Federico Zandomeneghi, Milan, 1967, no. 706, illustrated
Francesca Dini, Zandomeneghi, la vita e le opere, Florence, 1989, no. 177, illustrated fig. 78
Enrico Piceni, Federico Zandomeneghi, Milano, 1991, no. 706
Fondazione Enrico Piceni, Federico Zandomeneghi, catalogo generale, Milan, 2006, no. 774, illustrated p. 365 (as dating from circa 1905-17)

Catalogue Note

The Earthly Paradise occupies a unique position in Zandomeneghi's œuvre. As a late work, it harks back to some of the artist’s early compositions and it is revealing of Zandomeneghi both as an artist and as man.

Despite its title, the painting has very little in common with typical representations of the Earthly Paradise, most notably those by the Flemish painters. Verdant hills, resplendent with plants and ripe fruit are here replaced by a dense wooded landscape. With the exception of a small dog running in the distance, no animals are to be seen. Naked men and women engage in sexual acts, drinking or playing music, in a Dionysian frenzy which echoes that of bacchanals populated by nymphs and fauns.

The innovative use of flat fields of colour, the black contour lines and the almost two-dimensional perspective are telling of the artist’s friendship with Degas and of the new post-impressionist visual language. Zandomeneghi was no doubt influenced by the Synthetism of Paul Gauguin, whom he profoundly admired, and he was a close friend of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, with whom he shared an address in the rue Tourlaque, from 1884 to 1886.

In fact, Zandomeneghi had already experimented with a 'flatter' style, in contrast to his more typical, impressionistic use of dabs and dashes of paint, in some of his earlier works, including Le Moulin de la galette, of 1878. Two preparatory sketches, Sous-bois and Hélène, and a fan shaped pastel on paper titled Nymph and Satyre (showing the same female figure lying on the grass) are an indication of how the present work was the result of a thorough study of figures and landscape.  

Notwithstanding Zandomeneghi's success that came with signing a contract with art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who sponsored his three solo exhibitions in 1893, 1897 and 1903, the dealer's exacting demands resulted in Zandomeneghi having a breakdown. To convalesce, he retreated to the quiet town of Gif, in the Chevreuse valley, whose landscape might have inspired the present work.

The death of his dear friend Diego Martelli in 1896 and that of his sister aggravated the mental and physical condition of an already sick and lonely man. Although the collaboration with Durand-Ruel remained fruitful, it is tempting to view The Earthly Paradise as a rebellion against the dealer’s prescriptive commissions and as an outburst of pent up energy and creativity in the artist’s final years.   

 

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
London