Karl Lagerfeld collection, Paris; Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019), Paris, his sale ('Old Master Paintings from the Lagerfeld Collection'), New York, Christie's, 23 May 2000, lot 135.
The subject is taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book XIV: 130-153) and tells of the Sibyl of Cumae, in southern Italy, who was loved by Apollo. In return for her love, the god tried to bribe her by offering to prolong her life for as many years as there were grains in a heap of dust. She refused him and although he kept his word, he denied her perpetual youth and condemned her to live for centuries as a wizened crone. In the present painting the Sibyl is seen holding in her hands the heap of dust.
The painting is warmer in tone than the catalogue illustration would suggest.
The canvas has been relined. No major damages seem to be apparent.
The painted surface seems to be in reasonably good condition.
It is covered with a craquelure pattern which is a bit coarse in places, especially along the upper edge, with some minor dryness in the upper part.
Thinness can be observed in the darker parts of the composition, e.g. in the center and in some of the figures.
A few discolored retouches can be seen in the clothing of the figures and in the body of Apollo.
Under UV light
The varnish layer fluoresces largely, showing some minor strengthening in the upper part, in Apollo especially in his clothes, in the clothing of the putti and on his left, and in the yellow shawl of the Sybil.
Offered with an oval carved and giltwood frame.
Le tableau présente en réalité des couleurs plus chaudes que sur l’illustration au catalogue.
Le tableau a fait l’objet d’un rentoilage.
Aucun accident important ne semble visible.
La couche picturale semble dans un état satisfaisant.
Le tableau présente un réseau de craquelures parfois un peu larges, notamment le long du bord supérieur, dues probablement à l’assèchement de la matière.
On remarque des usures dans les zones les plus sombres de la composition, notamment au centre et dans les personnages.
Quelques repeints désaccordés sont visibles dans les vêtements des personnages et sur le corps d’Apollon.
A la lampe UV
Le tableau présente un vernis principalement opaque, laissant apparaître quelques légères usures dans la partie supérieure, notamment dans les habits d’Apollon, dans ceux du putti et à sa gauche, et également dans le drapé jaune de la Sybille.
Dans un cadre ovale sculpté et doré. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."