GIACOMO COTTA | THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
Property from the Matthiesen Gallery, London
Gorlogo 1627 - Bergamo 1689
THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
oil on copper, oval
unframed: 52.5 x 64 cm.; 20 3/4 x 25 1/2 in.
framed: 74 x 87 cm.; 29 1/8 x 34 1/4 in.
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The copper plate is flat and stable, with a supportive stretcher applied to the reverse. The paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals small, scattered retouchings - most notably in the landscape upper light, in the clouds and putti, and in the background above the column centre left. Larger, more concentrated areas of retouching are found to an area in the centre of the upper margin approx. 3 x 4 cm., in the Madonna's shoulder 3 cm. long, and an area in the right-most magus' back. None of these distract from the legibility of the image which presents very well in its current state.
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.
Monaco, Sotheby’s, 3 December 1989, lot 371 (as workshop of Gerolamo da Ponte, called Bassano), for 270,000 French francs, where acquired.
"There is a palpable fusion of influences in this painting; Cotta seems to stare hard at Veronese and Bassano in Venice, glance at Genoa, and nod gratefully to past visitors from Flanders: Rubens and Van Dyck. I find it distinctly north Italian in flavor."
Giacomo Cotta studied initially under Ciro Ferri, who worked in Bergamo during the first half of the seventeenth century and the Roman artist’s style and technique were to have a profound effect on the development of Cotta’s mature style. He later worked for a brief period in the studio of Federico Agnelli in Milan and Cotta married Agnelli’s daughter Margherita around 1649. His career continued to prosper in Milan and he even produced a series of paintings for Maria Anna of Austria. He spent the later part of his career in Bergamo and his most important commissions there were a Sacrifice of Abraham for the Church of the Capuchins and a Death of Saint Joseph for the church of San Giuseppe. After the death of his wife in 1670, he entered the priesthood. Now largely known for being the teacher of the flamboyant portrait painter Giuseppe Ghislandi (1655–1743), Cotta was an accomplished painter of canvases and frescoes and was also a prolific printmaker and engraved several of his own works.
A Rest on the Flight into Egypt in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen (inv. M 139), an oil on copper roundel, dated to 1673, could perhaps indicate a similar date for our painting.