Lot 34
  • 34

DANIELE CRESPI | The Annunciation

300,000 - 500,000 USD
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  • Daniele Crespi
  • The Annunciation
  • signed lower center: D.C.F.
  • oil on panel
  • 47.3 x 62cm


Amadeo dal Pozzo, Milan before 1634(?);
Private Collection, Lombardy;
Anonymous sale, Milan, Il Ponte Casa d'Aste, 17 June 17 2010, lot 675 (as Attributed to Daniele Crespi);
With Daniel Katz Gallery, London, 2011;
From whom acquired by the present collector. 


G. Porzio (ed.), Un battito d’ali. Ritrovamenti e conferme, Milan 2011, pp. 5-35, reproduced. 


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. This work is nicely restored and should be hung in its current state. It is painted on a panel which has vertical reinforcements on the left and right. The panel is slightly curved at the top and bottom, but overall the wood is in very healthy state. Retouches have been sparingly applied. There are a few tiny spots of retouches visible in the neck of the angel and the forehead of the female figure. There is also one thin scratch in her cheek and a couple of dots in her neck that have been retouched. A few more small spots in her hands have also been retouched. Some of the original color in the lower right reads darkly under ultraviolet light, but these are not retouches. The visible brushiness of the paint layer is original to the artist. The condition is very good.
"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

A work which combines charged, staccato brushwork and compositional creativity, Daniele Crespi’s Annunciation encapsulates this great Lombard artist’s contribution to Italian seicento painting. Executed on panel, this is a rare easel-sized painting by Crespi, and one which, perhaps surprisingly, only reemerged within the past few years. In its nearly frenzied application of paint, the technique matches with similar smaller works from the early part of Crespi’s all too brief career, for instance the Lucifer of circa 1618 in a private collection (see N. Ward Neilson, Daniele Crespi, Soncino 1996, fig. 3C). The striking diversity of paint application is what immediately captures the viewer. The smooth underlying paint application blocks out of the forms of the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel, on top of which are rapid, nervous highlights that complete the modeling and shading. The white, parallel highlights which act as finishing, yet essential touches to both the Virgin’s blue cloak and the Archangel’s maroon drapery, serve to round out this otherwise sketchy composition. The profile and three-quarter view of the Angel and Virgin, respectively, recall similar faces from another early, larger Rest on the Flight into Egypt (Princeton, Princeton University Art Museums). In both instances the idyllic, softly modeled contours reflect the lingering Mannerist influence of Correggio, along with more contemporary inspiration from Giulio Cesare Procaccini and Giovanni Battista Crespi, called Il Cerano. Crespi’s career was frustratingly short, having succumbed to the plague in 1630 at age 32. Thus his career was largely confined to Lombardy with a small extant output (Ward-Nielson lists eighty-four autograph paintings; ibid.) Despite this brevity, his impact on Baroque painting was profound as he served as a key bridge between the highly exaggerated, mannered style of the generation prior, and the early Baroque movement which was to define the remainder of the seventeenth-century. Among his contemporaries were Alessandro Tiarini and the aforementioned Cerano, who, along with Crespi forged the path in the north of Italy for a new visual language in Italian art.