Sold Without Reserve | ATTRIBUTED TO SIMONE PIGNONI | JOSEPH AND POTIPHAR'S WIFE
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Sold Without Reserve
ATTRIBUTED TO SIMONE PIGNONI
Florence 1611 - 1698
JOSEPH AND POTIPHAR'S WIFE
oil on canvas
canvas: 34½ by 45⅝ in.; 87.4 by 115.9 cm.
framed: 42⅛ by 53½ in.; 107 by 136 cm.
The canvas appears to be generally unlined, but strip lined around the edges so that it could be stretched onto a modern stretcher. The reverse has six patches to address old tears and repairs to the canvas. There is visible clearly on the reverse and more subtly on the front, a vertical canvas seam that runs top to bottom about 6 inches from the left edge. The surface of this picture is somewhat uneven in presentation with areas of dirty varnish still visible in places. This gives the painting a somewhat mottled effect. There are very good passages of painting and detail throughout, however some of the pigments, particularly noticeable in the figure at right in his yellow tunic and in his blue stockings, have appeared to have oxidized and darkened. There are some scattered abrasions here and there. In her upper arms and in part of her flesh tones, there is some yellow tonalities, which could be original pigment or a uneven dirty varnish. Under UV: the patches on the reverse respond to old repaired tears and holes, including one at upper left in the background, in the back of her head and into her shoulder, one at her pelvis, one about 1.5 inch square in the sheet of the bed at lower left, one to the right of the head of Joseph in the background, a filled repair in the lower right corner. Some additional small scattered spots of restoration near the upper and lower edges. This painting is not presenting itself as well as it could, and the past treatment appears to have addressed the structural issues of the canvas, rather than an aesthetic campaign, with a full cleaning. It could be improved with a judicious restoration. Offered in a dark convex molded frame.
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 provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour 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 because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's Olympia, 30 October 2001, lot 221;
There acquired for $18,800.
This biblical scene illustrates a story from the Book of Genesis (Chapter 39). After Joseph, the beloved son of his father, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he was send to Egypt and purchased by Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s guards. Here, Joseph is shown warding off the eager embrace of Potiphar’s wife, as she attempts to seduce him within the palace walls. This subject proved popular for 17th century artists, particularly insofar as its moralizing message of avoiding temptation and carnal desires was in line with the Counter-Reformation movement. In composition and style, this painting compares to the works of the Florentine artist Simone Pignoni, and a bozzetto attributed to Simone Pignoni of this same subject and with a similar composition last appeared on the market in Turin in 1991.1
1. Oil on canvas, 24 by 34 cm, Fondazione Zeri Archive ref. no. 52150.