Venice 1801 - 1871 Milan
The abduction of the Venetian wives
oil on canvas, unlined
unframed: 27.7 x 38.7 cm.; 10 7/8 x 15 1/4 in.
framed: 40.5 x 51.6 cm.; 16 x 20 3/8 in.
The canvas is unlined, the paint surface is slightly dirty, and the varnish is discoloured. There are some small losses, most notably around the arm of the central woman being carried, as well as in the sky upper right and in the two lower corners. In raking light it is possible to discern a stretcher mark on all four sides. Inspection under ultraviolet light appears to reveal very little intervention save for a handful of scattered, pin-prick retouchings to other small losses confined largely to the lower margin. In overall good condition.
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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
This canvas is a modello for the finished painting by Darif which he exhibited in Brera in 1829, of which the location is now unknown. A signed preparatory watercolour also exists, which was offered at Bertolami Fine Art, Rome, 9 May 2019, lot 8.
The subject matter is based on a legend which recounts that on the same day every year all the maidens and young men of Venice were gathered in the church of San Pietro in Castello. The men then chose their future bride following which a huge ceremony took place to marry all the couples, presided over by the Bishop. On 31 January 944 A.D., a band of pirates from Trieste burst into the church, kidnapped the women and seized all of the riches that had been offered by the future spouses.