Lot 38
  • 38

ANTONIO JOLI | Rome, looking towards the Castel Sant' Angelo, with Saint Peter's Basilica beyond

400,000 - 600,000 GBP
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  • Rome, looking towards the Castel Sant' Angelo, with Saint Peter's Basilica beyond
  • oil on canvas
  • 88.2 by 125.1cm.


With Agnew's, London, by about 1962; Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 21 January 1982, lot 45;

Private collection;

Anonymous sale ('Property of a Private Collector'), New York, Christie's, 24 January 2003, lot 166, where acquired by the present collector for $920,000.


L. Salerno, Pittori di Vedute in Italia (1580–1830), Rome 1991, p. 248, fig. 75.15; R. Middione, Antonio Joli, Soncino 1995, p. 27, reproduced fig. 13;

M. Manzelli, Antonio Joli, Venice 1999, p. 93, no. R.21;

C. Beddington, 'Book Review: Antonio Joli: opera pittorica by Mario Manzelli', in The Burlington Magazine, October 2000, CXLII, 1171, p. 640;

R. Toledano, Antonio Joli, Turin 2006, p. 165, no. R.VIII.19, reproduced, and in colour plate XIV.


The following condition report is provided by Henry Gentle who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Antonio Joli View of Rome Oil on canvas, in a modern gilt wood frame in good condition The original canvas is lined. The lining is in a good state of repair with only minor loss of tension. The paint layer is in very good original condition. Along the bottom edge some of the paint is raised and unstable and under UV light a small area , to the bottom right corner, has been strengthened. There is also a small repair to the very top of the central sculptural cloud and down the left hand edge. Elsewhere, across the paint surface, the paint texture, including the more pronounced highlighted areas, can be seen to be in an excellent preserved state. The fine crisp architectural details and those of the figures are unaffected by any previous conservation intervention. The tonal nuances and atmospheric recession are original. Very minor thinness to the edge of the leaves of the Cyprus tree, left, and through the flag and its stays can be detected. Removal of a degraded varnish would improve the overall tonality of the image.
"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

Two of Rome's most famous and remarkable structures tower over the rest of the Eternal City, as figures gently go about their day, both on the gently flowing river and along the bridge. Decorated with Bernini's marble statues, the beautifully rendered stone structure bisects the composition. Wrapped in the warm glow of Rome's light, the painting would have appealed as much to eighteenth-century grand tourists as it does to a contemporary viewer.  Toledano dates this view of Rome to 1744–49, during the artist's English sojourn. He lists five versions of the present design, which differs from other treatments of the same view by including the pine tree at the left. The present painting appears to be the finest of the known versions (some of which show some studio participation), thanks to its chromatic brilliance and luminosity. Joli paid particular attention to the gentle reflection of the bridge in the rippling water, which in the other versions is not nearly as successful.