Florence 1596 - 1657
THE DEATH OF CLEOPATRA
oil on canvas
30¼ by 25 in.; 76.8 by 63.5 cm.
The canvas is lined and is stable on its stretcher. Overall the image reads strongly beneath an old, yellowed, and dirty varnish, and it appears to be in overall good and stable condition beneath this varnish. There are a few small, scattered losses, including some small pin dots in the background around the head of the figure, and a larger spot (about 0.5 cm) near the lower edge, just left of center. Some of the details in the blue fabric near the lower center have lost definition with age. There is an old Y-shaped repair in the upper background to the left of the figure's head. A spot of retouching that has slightly discolored is visible in the wrist of her upraised arm, another spot is visible in her neck, and a few scattered discolored spots are visible in the costume of her left arm. Inspection under UV reveals a thick, milky varnish, beneath with are visible some scattered thin and very finely applied strokes of retouching here and there throughout, with additional retouching concentrated near the edges, including the right edge, the lower right corner, and the upper left corner. Offered in a decoratively carved giltwood frame.
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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Private collection, southern France.
S. Bellesi, Pittura e Scultura a Firenze (Secoli XVI-XIX), Florence 2017, pp. 15-16, reproduced fig. 14.
The Florentine artist Cesare Dandini was born into a family of painters and was renowned for his refined and elegant skills. In this highly emotive canvas, he used a rich color palette to capture the dramatic moment of the Death of Cleopatra. This particularly successful for Dandini is known in at least three other versions.1 It also closely compares to an variant by Dandini showing a full-length Cleopatra in a private collection, Lucca.2
1. Two versions reproduced in S. Bellesi, Cesare Dandini, Turin 1996, pp. 158-159, cat. no. 100-101, reproduced. Another version in S. Bellesi, Studi sulla pittura e sulla scultura de '600='700 e Firenze, Florence 2013, p. 21, reproduced fig. 11 and 22.
2. Oil on canvas, 168 by 129 cm. S. Bellesi, Cesare Dandini, Turin 1996, pp. 156-158, cat. no. 99, reproduced.