DAVID ROBERTS, R.A. | INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE DURING THE CEREMONY OF CORPUS CHRISTI
The Property of the Downside Abbey General Trust
The Property of the Downside Abbey General Trust
DAVID ROBERTS, R.A.
Edinburgh 1796 - 1864 London
INTERIOR OF THE CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE DURING THE CEREMONY OF CORPUS CHRISTI
inscribed and dated, lower centre on a flagstone (inverted): HIC IACET/ DAVIDVS ROBERTVS/ Reqvi… pace : Amen…/ A.D. MDCCCXXXIII;
and inscribed and dated, lower left: Painted at Seville 1833
oil on canvas
unframed: 196.5 x 136.4 cm.; 77½ x 53¾ in.
framed: 212 x 152 cm.; 83½ x 59¾ 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 following condition report is provided by Hamish Dewar who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's:
The canvas would appear to be unlined with several patches as well as strips of canvas and
layers of adhesive applied to the reverse. The structural condition would appear to be stable
but it may be felt that the removal of the patches and canvas strips, followed by the lining of
the canvas, would ensure a more secure and even structural support. There is also staining on
the reverse of the canvas. I did not remove the painting from the frame for the purpose of this
examination and did therefore not examine the turnover edges.
The paint surface has an uneven and discoloured varnish layer and should respond very well to
cleaning. I would be very confident of a considerable colour change and a great improvement
in the overall appearance.
Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms how discoloured the varnish layers have become
and shows scattered retouchings. The more recent retouchings fluoresce clearly but others are
barely discernible beneath the discoloured varnish layers. It is therefore not possible to
accurately assess the exact extent of earlier retouchings due to the opaque nature of the
varnish layers but the fine details of the composition appear to be well preserved and I am also
confident that many of the retouchings are excessive and, should they be removed during the
cleaning process, could be reduced with more minimal and careful retouching. There is an
underlying pattern of entirely stable drying craquelure and paint separation which is very
characteristic of Roberts.
The painting would therefore appear to be in good and stable condition and could be transformed
by cleaning, restoration and revarnishing.
"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."
Bought from the artist in 1834 by his friend David Ramsay Hay for £300;
By whom sold, Edinburgh, 1848 or 1849;
Lewis Loyd (1811–1891), Monks Orchard, Beckenham, Kent, by 1852;
By descent to Captain E.N.F. Loyd, Shaw Hill, Melksham, Wiltshire;
His sale, London, Christie’s, 30 April 1937, lot 80, to Baird for £16.16;
Mrs Innes Moore, 15 Royal Crescent, Bath;
By whom gifted to the Abbot of Downside, circa 1949.
David Roberts’ Record Books, 1821–1864, Yale Center for British Art, number 57;
The Athenaeum, 1834, p. 107;
Liverpool Mercury, 1834;
The Times, 5 February 1834, p. 4;
Literary Gazette, 8 February 1834, p. 98;
Mrs A. Jameson, A Companion to the Most Celebrated Private Galleries of Art in London, London 1844, p. 155;
The Athenaeum, 1857, p. 566;
Art Journal, 1858, p. 202;
J. Ballantine, The Life of David Roberts R.A., Edinburgh 1866, pp. 60–61, 64, 69, 74 and 248, no. 66;
D. and F. Irwin, Scottish Painters at Home and Abroad, 1700–1900, London 1975, p. 333;
H. Guiterman et al., Artist Adventurer. David Roberts 1796–1864, Scottish Arts Council, exh. cat., Edinburgh 1981, pp. 19–20;
K. Sim, David Roberts R.A., London 1984, pp. 94–97, 99 and 101–2;
H. Guiterman and B. Llewellyn, David Roberts, exh. cat., Oxford 1986, p. 110, cat. no. 102, reproduced in colour, p. 15, pl. 8.
F. Calvo Serraller and J. Portus, Iconografia de Sevilla, 1790–1868, vol. III, Madrid 1991.
London, British Institution, 1834, no. 150;
Liverpool Academy, 1834, no. 21;
Scottish Academy, 1836, no. 120;
Glasgow, West of Scotland Academy, 1842, no. 42;
Manchester, Art Treasures of Great Britain, 1857, no. 588;
Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, Scottish Arts Council, 21 June – 26 July 1981; London, Fine Art Society, 3 August – 26 August 1981; Glasgow, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery, 9 September – 3 October 1981; Dundee, City Museum and Art Gallery, 17 October – 14 November 1981; and Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Art Centre, 12 December – 9 January 1982, Artist Adventurer, David Roberts 1796–1864, no. 2;
London, Barbican Art Gallery, David Roberts, 6 November 1986 – 4 January 1987, no. 102.