View full screen - View 1 of Lot 5. Allegory of Autumn with wine-making putti.
5

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called il Guercino

Allegory of Autumn with wine-making putti

Property from the Collection of the late Cyril and Shirley Fry

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called il Guercino

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called il Guercino

Allegory of Autumn with wine-making putti

Allegory of Autumn with wine-making putti

Property from the Collection of the late Cyril and Shirley Fry

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called il Guercino

Cento 1591 - 1666 Bologna

Allegory of Autumn with wine-making putti


Casa Gennari;

Possibly Francesco Forni;

John Bouverie (circa 1722-1750), (L.325),

by inheritance to his sister Anne Bouverie and his brother-in-law John Hervey,

by descent to his son Christopher Hervey, at his death in 1786,

by inheritance to his aunt Elizabeth Bouverie;

by bequest to Sir Charles Middleton, later 1st Baron Barham,

Sir Gerard Noel, father of the first Earl of Gainsborough,

by descent to Charles Noel, 3rd Earl of Gainsborough,

sale, London, Christie's, 20th July 1859, lot not identifiable 


Oiled charcoal;

bears old attribution, verso, in pen and ink: Guer. o and numbering 40

267 by 356 mm

Detached from a backing, there traces of glue visible on the verso and some thinning of the paper in a few areas.

The paper has slightly discoloured and there are small nicks and losses at the bottom margin. A few nicks also at the top section of the right and left edges. A few small stains towards the left margin, barely visible. The media is strong.


"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."

At least three other Guercino drawings are known that depict variations on the delightful theme of putti making wine. This previously unknown, boldly drawn study, formerly in the distinguished collection of John Bouverie, seems, however, to be the only one executed in oiled charcoal, a medium most frequently used by the artist in his early career, for academic drawings of posed male figures.


So far, these bacchic compositions have not been linked with any known work or project by the artist, but they must all date from the first half of the 1620s. The composition can be closely compared with that of a drawing now at Chatsworth, though the latter is executed in the unusual combination of red and black chalk with stumping. Another study in red chalk, with the same subject but differing in compositional layout, is in the Galleria Estense, Modena, and another sketchy study in pen and brown ink is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.2 A further study in red chalk of a single putto making wine, considered by the late Sir Denis Mahon to be a late work by the artist, was in the Bick Collection until it was sold in these Rooms in 1984.3

Guercino was summoned by Pope Gregory XV (Ludovisi) to Rome in 1621 to paint the ceiling decoration for the Loggia delle Benedizioni in the Vatican Palace, a work that he never actually started. He did, however, stay in Rome until the Pope’s death in 1623, working in particular for the 'cardinal nepote' Ludovico Ludovisi (1595-1632). 


Although there are generally no specific references to the Antique in Guercino’s work, it is tempting to think that such a subject could have been inspired by a Roman relief and transformed by the artist into these entertaining and poetic scenes, with their implied references to the seasons. 


1. Chatsworth, inv. no. 550: see N. Turner and C. Plazzotta, Drawings by Guercino from British Collections, exh. cat., London, British Museum, 1991, pp. 96-97, no. 67, reproduced p. 95

2. Modena, Galleria Estense, inv . no. 1147; London, Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. Dyce 321

3. Sale, London, Sotheby's, 2 July 1984, lot 77