SOLD WITHOUT RESERVE
Chambéry 1754 - 1822 Naples
PORTRAIT OF A LADY, PROBABLY ELIZABETH REGIS, BUST LENGTH
oil on panel, in a painted oval
inscribed on the reverse probably by the patron of the painting: Elizabeth Regis / Nata La..... Chiana / li Cinque Maggio 1769 / Da me sposata li 29 Novembre / 1791 / Ritratto fatto le / Dal Sig. Bergier Pittore / Romano / In C.... Laugier l'anno 1800 / Morta li 26 Marzo 18.. / Attesto di Conjugal / Tenerezze e Venerazione / nell' afflitto smarrito / Signor Regis / … 1805
panel: 9½ by 7⅞ in.; 24.1 by 20 cm.
framed: 16 by 13⅝ in.; 40.6 by 34.6 cm.
The panel is uncradled, flat, and stable with the top edge beveled. The paint surface is well preserved and retains its impasto, like in the details of the sitter's headpiece. Inspection under UV reveals very few and small dots of retouching below the sitter's proper left eye, her neck, and another very small dot in her gown at bottom right. Some faint pindots of retouching that have slightly discolored are scattered in the background, though these are not distracting. Painting is in overall good condition and can hang as is. Offered in a framed oval.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 15 March 1985, lot 82 (as Portrait of Elizabet Regis);
With Richard Feigen, New York;
From whom acquired by The First National Bank of Chicago in 1989;
From whom acquired by the present owner in 2004.
Giacomo Berger was born in Chambéry in 1754, but spent most of his life in Italy. From 1779 to 1782, he studied in the Albertina Academy in Turin under Laurent Pécheux. When he traveled to Rome, he studied with Domenico Corvi whose Neoclassical style would influence Berger's work. Berger's reputation was secured in Rome after his first major exhibition at the Villa Medici in 1786, where he captured the attention of the prominent collector Lord Bristol. In the early 1800s, Berger settled in Naples where he would remain until his death in 1822. During his time in Naples, Berger became the director of the Academy of Fine Art and was commissioned by Charles Felix of Sardinia and his wife Maria Cristina of Naples and Sicily to paint their portraits.