Property from a Spanish Private Collection
Messina 1578 - 1648
The beheading of Saint John the Baptist
oil on canvas, possibly reduced at the lower margin
140.8 x 193.3 cm.; 55⅜ x 76⅛ in.
The canvas is lined and the paint surface is stable. The varnish appears to be very old and uneven - which together with some historic small losses in the background gives the surface a rather pitted appearance. There are scattering of old restored damages and losses, mainly in the background - that have all been restored probably rather a long time ago - there is a degree of historic wear particularly at the right margin and in the right hand figure. The majority of the restorations are in this area, and in the elegantly dressed young mans outfit, and in the background throughout. There are other notable areas of restoration in the bodice of the young woman at the left, in her face, and her hand (on her hip) is entirely repainted. The face of the old woman also has some repaint. The figures of the other three characters have less intervention.
All this restoration is very old and quite broadly applied - and although the canvas has seemingly suffered somewhat in the past it would no doubt be much improved by the replacement of old restorations and a re-varnish. Offered in a simple gilt and painted wood frame in fair condition.
"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."
Palozzi collection, Rome;
Manuel Gonzalez, Madrid.
F. Negri Arnoldi, 'Alonzo Rodriguez: Un caravaggesco contestato', in Prospettiva, 9, 1973, pp. 25–26, reproduced p. 22, fig. 9 and p. 23, fig. 10 (detail);
M. Marini, in Storia dell'arte italiana, F. Zeri & P. Fossati eds., part II, vol. II, p. 426;
V. Abbate et al., Caravaggio in Sicilia: Il suo tempo, il suo influsso, exh. cat., Bellomo 1984, p. 125–27.
Alonzo Rodriguez was the leading exponent of the Caravaggesque style active in Sicily. He was born in Messina, and travelled to Venice to study the works Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto. His departure from Venice to Rome was hastened by his becoming such a proficient imitator of Titian that he was accused of forgery in that town. He is recorded back in Messina by 1614 and is thought to have spent the rest of his career there.