Property from an Italian Private Collection
Genoa 1667 - 1749
The death of Seneca
oil on canvas
110 x 70 cm.; 43¼ x 27½ in.
The canvas is lined, the paint surface is slightly dirty, and the varnish slightly discoloured. There is a degree of wear visible throughout the painting. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals small retouchings throughout the flesh tones and the figure's face. There are also small, scattered retouchings in the background, notably to the right of his head and left arm, and in the upper left corner. Offered in a carved and gilt wood frame, with the leaf mouldings at the bottom slightly loose.
"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."
This powerful representation of the suicide of the Roman philosopher Seneca has been identified as a rare early work of Alessandro Magnasco by Anna Orlando, to whom we are grateful for her assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.
This painting should be compared to the few other single figure canvasses from Magnasco's early years - namely the Penitant Magdalene, private collection,(1) and the Ectasy of Saint Francis in the collection of the Galleria di Palazzo Bianco, Genoa.(2)
1 F.F. Guelfi, Alessandro Magnasco, Soncino 1991, p. 38–9, cat. no. 15, reproduced p. 39.
2 Inv. no. P.B.2668; Guelfi 1991, p. 40–41, cat. no. 16, reproduced p. 41.