Lot 183
  • 183

MATTIA PRETI | An interior with a silversmith and the tools of his trade

30,000 - 50,000 USD
62,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Mattia Preti, called Cavaliere Calabrese
  • An interior with a silversmith and the tools of his trade
  • oil on canvas


Doris Westcott, New York;
From whom acquired by a private collector, 1974;
Thence by descent in the family. 


J. Spike, Mattia Preti: Catalogo Ragionato dei Dipinti, Taverna 1999, pp. 119, cat. no. 10, reproduced in black and white p. 119 and in color p. 34, plate II (as Mattia Preti);
M. Marini, in Gregorio Preti : da Taverna a Roma, 1603-1672: un pittore riscoperto e l'ambiente artistico nella Presila tra '500 e '700, Calabria 2003, p. 88, cat. no. 8, reproduced (as Gregorio Preti);
L. Giorgio and E. Spina, Gregorio Preti, calabrese, 1603-1672 : un problema aperto, exhibition catalogue, Milan 2004, p. 109, cat. no. 7, reproduced (as attributed to Gregorio Preti).

Catalogue Note

This fascinating and dramatically lit portrayal of a silversmith, dressed in simple yet richly colored clothing and standing with the tools of his trade in front of a forge, is a rare and early work by Mattia Preti, dated by Dr. John Spike to the 1630s. During this period, the young Preti lived in Rome, shared a studio with his elder brother, Gregorio, and actively studied the realism and chiaroscuro effects in the paintings of Caravaggio and his followers.  In his monograph on the artist, Spike draws stylistic comparisons to another youthful work by Preti, Herodias and Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, which is datable to circa 1635 and hangs today in the Ringling Museum in Sarasota.2   1.  See Spike, under Literature, p. 119.  

2.  Oil on canvas, 149.2 by 199 cm., inv. no. SN990.  See ibid., p. 276, cat. no. 212, reproduced p. 277.