Property from a European Private Collection
Genoa 1600 - 1649
Rinaldo stopping Armida from taking her life
oil on canvas
149.3 x 194.2 cm.; 58¾ x 76½ in.
The canvas is lined, the paint surface is slightly dirty and the varnish is clear and even. A horizontal fold or seam is visible to the naked eye running the width of the canvas, with some visible associated retouching. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals retouchings scattered throughout the canvas, most notably to: a T-shaped repaired tear in Rinaldo’s leg approx. 7 x 7 cm.; a T-shaped repaired tear in Armida’s drapery above the bow measuring approx. 12 x 15 cm.; to a horizontal area between her legs measuring approx. 5 x 20 cm.; and a vertical band running from the edge of the tree trunk down through the back of Cupid’s head approx. 35 cm. long (which also includes the crown of Cupid’s head). Fine, pin-prick retouchings are scattered throughout all the figures’ flesh tones and white sleeves. In overall fairly good condition and presents well in its current state.
"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."
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 17 October 1997, lot 91 (as attributed to Gioacchino Assereto, Tancred and Clorinda);
Acquired by the present owner in January 2004.
T. Zennaro, Gioacchino Assereto, e i pittori della sua scuola, Soncino 2011, vol. II, pp. 666–67, cat. no. I25, reproduced (as by the workshop of Assereto).
This is one of three versions of the same composition, depicting the final moments of an episode from Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata when Rinaldo is forced homeward, duty-bound, and leaves the swooning Armida cursing on the shore. The principal version of the composition, which is of smaller dimensions than the present work, is widely considered to be that in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin.1 It is, however, a painting whose authorship has been the subject of much debate: on its introduction to the museum in 1982 it was attributed to Andrea Ansaldo but three years later Franco Boggero first published it as a work by Gioacchino Assereto.2 Then, more recently, in a 2004 exhibition at the Galleria Sabauda, Maestri genovesi in Piemonte, it was re-attributed to Ansaldo by Arnaldi di Balme.3 Dott.ssa Anna Orlando and Dr Mary Newcome Schleier, however, believe both the Sabauda version and the present work to be fully autograph paintings by Assereto.
Zennaro (see Literature), believes both the present painting and the Sabauda version to be workshop productions based on a third, smaller version, in a private collection in Turin.4
1 105 x 156 cm.; see Zennaro 2011, vol. II, p. 667, cat. no. I26, reproduced.
2 F. Boggero, Torquato Tasso, 1985, pp. 314–16, no. 9.
3 A. di Balme, Maestri genovesi in Piemonte, exh. cat., Turin 2004, pp. 140–41, no. 29.
4 141 x 178 cm.; see Zennaro 2011, vol. I, pp. 340–41, cat. no. A79.