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.
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.
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 trained in the workshop of Giovanni Biliverti (1585-1644) in Florence. 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 depicts a scene from the Book of Judges (4:11-22 and 5:24-31), when 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, and notes that 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.1 Meanwhile the figure of Sisera, with his legs and arms outstretched, resembles Fidani’s Martirio di Sant Erasmo from 1646.2
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.