Lot 36
  • 36

MICHELE MARIESCHI | An architectural capriccio with a river and a gothic temple

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
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  • An architectural capriccio with a river and a gothic temple
  • oil on canvas, unlined
  • 50.8 by 75cm.


Anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 24 January 2003, lot 168, where acquired by the present collector for $210,000.


D. Succi, Marieschi, opera completa, Pordenone 2016, p. 348, no. 158, reproduced in colour p. 347, fig. 158.


The following condition report is provided by Henry Gentle who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Michele Marieschi An architectural capriccio Oil on canvas, in a reproduction gilt frame in good condition. It was not possible to see the painting out of its frame but the original canvas appears unlined. The tacking edge has been reinforced recently and there is good tension and no planar deformation. There is a 1cm restored strip around all the edges. Under raking light there are some passages of the paint layer that are raised, but these are stable and secure. The paint layer, overall, is in, in my opinion, good original condition. Under UV light a small 1cm restored loss can be detected to the left of the pointed sail on the right. A small 2cm horizontal loss to the right of the light house is also visible. Across the surface very minor pitted paint loss is evident. Minor compromised paint beneath the water spout has occurred. The paint texture, including the assured and spontaneous brushwork, is very well preserved; the raised highlights are unaffected by any previous conservation intervention. The fine original architectural details as well as those of the figures and the foliage are in a good preserved state. The colours saturate well and retain their vibrancy. Removal of the degraded varnish would improve the overall tonality.
"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

The presence of a high-arched building in the left foreground which dominates the rest of the design is a recurring feature in Marieschi's capricci, as is the timelessness of the buildings, which contrast with the animated figures spread throughout the scene. The arched cloud formation is also found in a capriccio sold in these Rooms, 7 July 2010, lot 46, for £150,000 (fig. 1). The small gothic temple in the centre appears in another capriccio formerly with Galerie Ribolzi.1 At the time of the 2003 sale, Succi dated the present work to 1736–37.

1 Succi 2016, pp. 372–73, cat. no. 189, reproduced in colour.