Sold Without Reserve | BONIFAZIO DE' PITATI, CALLED BONIFAZIO VERONESE | MADONNA READING A BOOK AND HOLDING THE STANDING CHRIST CHILD, WITH A LANDSCAPE BEYOND
Estimate: 150,000 - 200,000 USD
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Sold Without Reserve
BONIFAZIO DE' PITATI, CALLED BONIFAZIO VERONESE
(Verona 1487 - 1553 Venice)
MADONNA READING A BOOK AND HOLDING THE STANDING CHRIST CHILD, WITH A LANDSCAPE BEYOND
oil on panel
29⅛ by 19⅜ in.; 74 by 49.2 cm.
The following condition report has been provided by Karen Thomas of Thomas Art Conservation LLC., 336 West 37th Street, Suite 830, New York, NY 10018, 212-564-4024, email@example.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This painting appears to have been recently cleaned and restored, and has a pristine appearance. Much of the highly accomplished restoration focuses on precise retouching to visually suppress drying cracks that would otherwise disrupt the reading of the imagery, most notably in the sky, upper right, and in the lightest portions of the flesh passages. A few losses in the Child's legs have been restored; for the most part the modeling in the flesh is nicely preserved. A narrow sliver of retouching follows a join in the panel that runs near the center of the panel, top to bottom. The red glazes, which tend to be vulnerable to fading and thinning, appear to remain in a good state, with a only small amount of retouching in the darkest regions of the red garment. Retouching in the green curtain seems to address a typical agerelated color shift in the green glazes. The vertically-grained wood panel has been thinned and attached
to a Belgian-style backing comprised of small, diagonally aligned blocks of wood adhered to each other and to the back of the panel. This painting may be enjoyed in its current state, and the excellent restoration should last for many
years to come.
Prince Stanislaw Poniatowski (1754 - 1833), Rome;
Thence by descent in the family in Paris and Vienna (as by Titian);
With Galerie St. Lucas, Vienna, before 1927;
Stockholm art market, 1927;
Acquired in 1928 for a private collection, Stockholm, and by descent in the family;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 1 November 2001, lot 27;
With Hall and Knight, New York;
Where acquired April 3, 2002.
S. Poglayen-Neuwall, “Ein wiederaufgetauchtes Frühwerk Tizians?”, in Cicerone, vol. 19, no. 19 (October 1927): pp. 591-6, reproduced p. 593, fig. 2 (as by Titian);
D. Westphal, Bonifazio Veronese (Bonifazio dei Pitati), Munich 1931, pp. 31-33, footnote 81, p. 144, reproduced plate IV, fig. 5 (as by Bonifazio);
O. Sirén, Italienska Tavlor och Teckningar: Nationalmuseum och andra Svenska och Finska Samlingar, Stockholm 1933, p. 137, reproduced pl. 88 (as by Palma il Vecchio);
A. Busiri Vici, I Poniatowski e Roma, Florence 1971, pp. 326-7, engraving reproduced fig. 152 (as by Bonifazio).
This painting was first correctly ascribed to Bonifazio Veronese by Dorothea Westphal in 1937 (see Literature). Prior to that, the devotional painting was believed to be an early work by Titian, with an arrangement of figures similar to the so-called "Gypsy Madonna" in Vienna (fig. 1). Yet the present landscape and figure types are consistent with Bonifazio's works of the 1520s, including the Sacra Conversazione in the National Gallery, London, and The Holy Family in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, in which the Christ child appears especially close to this one. At the time of the 2001 sale, Dr. Philip Cottrell confirmed the attribution to Bonifazio.
Prince Stanislaw Poniatowski (1754 - 1833), earliest recorded owner of this painting, was the nephew of the King of Poland and a major art patron and collector in late-18th century Europe. Relocating to Rome after the third partition of Poland in 1795, Prince Poniatowski counted among his friends artists like Antonio Canova, Angelika Kauffmann, and Anton Raphael Mengs. This painting remained in his family longer than much of his encyclopedic collection, which was dispersed after his death.