(Florence 1610 - in or after 1656)
JAEL AND SISERA
oil on canvas
canvas: 48 by 71 in.; 121.9 by 180.3 cm.
framed: 55¼ by 78½ in.; 140.3 by 199.4 cm.
The canvas is lined and consists of four pieces held together by 2 seams, one that runs horizontally through the center and one that runs vertically through the center. A tear measuring under 5 inches has been repaired at the center along the vertical seam. Craquelure is visible throughout with some lifting in areas such as by the hand of the female figure where there is some associated paint loss. Inspection under UV shows scattered repairs throughout, most likely from multiple campaigns of restoration, for example 3 spots that form a triangle under the female sitter's chin, which are also visible to the naked eye. Frame abrasion is visible at the top left corner and along the bottom edge.We recommend consulting with a restorer about a treatment plan. Offered in a wooden frame painted gold with some minor losses along the edges.
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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."
Probably Niccolò Panciatichi (1742-1811);
Anonymous sale, Rome, Christie's, 4 December 2000, lot 612;
Florence, Santissima Annunziata, Festa di San Luca, 1706.
Accademia delle arti del disegno, Nota de'quadri che sono esposti per la festa di S. Luca dagli accademici del disegno nella loro cappella posta nel chiostro del Monastero de' Padri della SS. Nonziata di Firenze l'anno 1706, exhibition catalogue, Florence 1706, p. 22;
F. Borroni Salvadori, Le esposizioni d'arte a Firenze dal 1674 al 1767, Florence 1974, p. 55;
C. Innocenti, Orazio Fidani: Tesi di Laurea, Florence 1976-77, pp. 293-294;
C. Innocenti, "Gli inizi di Orazio Fidani e lo sviluppo della tematica sacra", in Paradigma, vol. 5, 1983, p. 53, no. 56;
M. Mojana, Orazio Fidani (1606-1656), Milan 1996, pp. 70-71, cat. no. 18, reproduced;
F. Baldassari, La Pittura del Seicento a Firenze: Indice degli Artisti e Delle Loro Opere, Milan 2009, p. 384;
S. Bellesi, Catalogo dei Pittori Fiorentini del '600 e '700: Biografie e Opere, Florence 2009, vol. I, p. 146.
Orazio Fidani worked as a talented copyist and pupil in the workshop of Giovanni Biliverti. He was a contemporary of Francesco Furini (1600-1646), and like him, treated religious subjects as profane, developing morbid narratives like the present work. This painting, from the Book of Judges (4:11-22 and 5:24-31), depicts the moment the heroine Jael is about to kill the leader of the Jabin's army, Sisera, by hammering a spike through his head.
Marina Mojana dates this painting to circa 1645, for the figure of Jael is comparable to that of other female figures in paintings by Fidani that same year, such as those in his Incontro di Anna e Gioacchino alla Porta Aurea and Allegoria della Pittura . Meanwhile the figure of Sisera, with his legs and arms outstretched, can be compared to Fidani’s Martirio di Sant Erasmo from 1646 .
1. M. Mojana, Orazio Fidani, Milan 1996, p. 70, cat. no. 18 and see Ibid, pp. 57 and 91, cat. nos. 12 and 28.
2. See Ibid, p. 73, cat. no. 19.