Lot 56
  • 56

LUCA GIORDANO | Apollo and Daphne

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Giordano
  • Apollo and Daphne
  • signed lower right: Jordano / .F.
  • oil on canvas


Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 6 December 1967, lot 37; 
There acquired by a private collection, Milan;
From whom purchased by the previous owner.

Catalogue Note

This is a densely colored Apollo and Daphne executed on a grand scale by Luca Giordano, the most versatile and well-traveled painter of the Italian Baroque. Giordano was long known by his nickname, 'Fa Presto' ('works quickly'), denoting his ability to produce high quality commissions at a rapid rate. These included altarpieces, bozzetti mythological paintings, as here, and complex decorative programs for both private palaces and public churches. As his career (and travels) progressed, Giordano moved away from a darker Caravaggist tenebrism in favor of a brighter palette which embraced color and dynamic Baroque movement. This previously unpublished canvas can be compared to Giordano's mythologically themed cycle of paintings, which included a work of the same subject, executed between 1687 and 1689 and destined for a distinguished Spanish patron.  The cycle of at least 12 paintings was sent from Naples to Madrid, and the other version of Apollo and Daphne today remains part of the Spanish Patrimonio Nacional.  A drawing with a similar grouping of figures, now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv. no. 9631), was traditionally considered to be a preparatory sketch for the Spanish Apollo and Daphne, however the composition is in fact closer to the present painting.