WORKSHOP OF DOMÉNIKOS THEOTOKOPOULOS, CALLED EL GRECO | THE TEARS OF SAINT PETER
Property from a Spanish Private Collection
WORKSHOP OF DOMÉNIKOS THEOTOKOPOULOS, CALLED EL GRECO
Candía, Crete 1541 – 1614 Toledo
THE TEARS OF SAINT PETER
bears inventory number lower right: 150
oil on canvas
unframed: 104.5 x 82.5 cm.; 41⅛ x 32½ in.
framed: 123 x 100.5 cm.; 48½ x 39½ in.
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot
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The canvas is lined, and the paint surface is dirty with a discoloured varnish. The paint surface is slightly worn throughout and there are a handful pin-prick losses, notably along the margins, and in the upper left side of St Peter's robe, his neck, and in the background centre left where the paint seems to have flaked in the past and since restored. Scattered spots of old, discoloured retouching are visible, notably in the background and St Peter's robe. Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms all this underneath the fluorescent varnish - which makes it difficult to discern further intervention that what is visible to the naked eye. In overall fair 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.
Anonymous sale, London, Bonhams, 8 July 2015, lot 76, where acquired.
The present composition exists in at least six autograph variants by El Greco painted during the course of his career, several of which gave rise to studio copies. The earliest version is in the Bowes Museum (on canvas, 109 x 90.3 cm.)1; the composition of the background detail on the left-hand side in the present work comes closer to El Greco's version in the San Diego Museum of Art (on canvas, 125.1 x 107.6 cm.), however.2 The success of the subject was due to its association with the Sacrament of Penance (or Confession) which was crucial in the Counter-Reformation's fight against Protestantism at this time. Saint Peter is shown weeping tears of repentance after betraying Christ, and several contemporary texts emphasised the importance of tears in devotional practice. On the left the Magdalen can be seen leaving the empty tomb.