Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Sold Without Reserve
GIOVANNI BATTISTA TIEPOLO
(Venice 1696 - 1770 Madrid)
ST. FRANCIS OF PAOLA HOLDING A ROSARY, BOOK, AND STAFF
oil on canvas
18⅛ by 15 in.; 46.1 by 38.2 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This painting is in excellent condition overall. The painting appears to have been restored fairly recently to a very high standard. Retouching primarily focuses on a series of losses along the left edge of the picture and near/in the left edge of the arm, and a few small losses in the prayer book. Tiny touches address points of normal, age-related increased transparency in the darks around the outstretched hand and adjacent the flowers, and suppress visually intrusive drying cracks in the lightest portions of the face. All retouching is clearly visible under ultraviolet illumination. The canvas support has been lined to a herringbone weave secondary support and attached to a four-member keyable bridle joint stretcher. One key is missing, however the canvas is planar and strongly tensioned. The varnish is clear with an even gloss.
This painting may be enjoyed in its current state and shows no need of conservation treatment.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
With Galerie Wolfgang Böhler, Bensheim, Germany;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 12 July 2001, lot 73;
A. Morassi, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G.B. Tiepolo, London 1962, p. 31, cat. no. 172, reproduced fig. 172 (as present whereabouts unknown).
Morassi dates this depiction of St. Francis of Paola to the first half of the 1730s, and connects it to two other half-length saints from the same period: St. Vincent Ferrer (formerly Venier collection, Milan) and St. Cajetan (Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro). In the early 1730s, Tiepolo had established his reputation in Venice with the recent completion of the large Roman history canvases for the Ca'Dolfin, and he garnered many religious and secular commissions as a result.
St. Francis of Paola (1416 -1507) led a contemplative, austere life, and founded the order of the Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi in 1474. He was canonized in 1519. Tiepolo portrayed him in his characteristic brown habit with a short, round scapular, holding a staff and book and clutching a rosary. St. Francis's downward gaze and worn, aging face and hands indicate his life of self-deprivation. His motto, CHARITAS, appears in an aureole at upper right, signifying his service to the poor.