View full screen - View 1 of Lot 159. SEBASTIANO RICCI | THE LAST SUPPER.

Property from a Distinguished Private collection, Washington, D.C.


Auction Closed

October 14, 03:02 PM GMT


200,000 - 300,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Washington, D.C.


Belluno 1659 - 1734 Venice


oil on canvas

29½ by 49⅞ in.; 74.9 by 126.7 cm.

With Agnew's, London;

Miller sale, London, Christie's, 4 December 1956;

W. Smith, New York[?];

With Paul Drey Gallery, New York, before 1976 (according to Daniels, see Literature);

With Bob Haboldt & Co., New York (according to a label on reverse);

With Kohl & Lang, Zurich;

From whom acquired, 1999.

J. Daniels, Sebastiano Ricci, Hove 1976, p. 80, no. 263, reproduced fig. 270;

J. Daniels, L'opera completa di Sebastiano Ricci, Milan 1976, p. 128, no. 433, reproduced;

A. Scarpa, Sebastiano Ricci, Milan 2006, p. 256, no. 324, reproduced p. 665.

The present lot is the prime version of this composition by Sebastiano Ricci, of which several other high-quality versions are known. Other examples are today at the Convent of Nobili Dimesse, Padua; the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston; and Worcester College, Oxford. The Last Supper is an iconic subject in the history of Italian art, and Ricci’s interpretation of the theme emphasizes the animation of the many figures. Annalise Scarpa, in her catalogue raisonné on the artist, dates this painting to the 1730s, when Ricci’s works become more intimate and his forms softer.

Ricci has included more than the requisite thirteen figures in this energetic scene. At center, Christ is shown blessing the bread, thus initiating the sacrament of the Eucharist. A light blue halo encircles His head as He gazes up at cherub heads floating above. The twelve disciples are arranged dynamically around the table, leaning over to engage in debate. Judas alone stands at the front side of the table as if to leave, clutching his bag of silver. In addition to the figures described in the Biblical story, Ricci depicted three servers at left and center, a woman holding an infant on her hip at right, and a dog licking a plate in the foreground. Illegible inscriptions on the wall lend an air of sacred mystery to the scene while the decorative pilasters and marble flooring reflect contemporary eighteenth century interiors.