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7

Jacopo da Valenza

The Blessing Christ

Property from the Martello Collection

Jacopo da Valenza

Jacopo da Valenza

The Blessing Christ

The Blessing Christ

Property from the Martello Collection

Jacopo da Valenza

Active in the Veneto 1485 - 1509

The Blessing Christ


oil on panel

panel: 15 ¾ by 19 ⅝ in.; 40 by 49.8 cm.  

framed: 22 by 25 ⅞ in.; 55.9 by 65.7 cm.  

The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.


This work is painted on a cradled panel. The paint layer is stable, except in one crack in the center of the right side. Other cracks are visible running horizontally through the chin of the sitter to the right and left edges, but these seem to be stable. There are a few retouches in the hand in the lower left, and a few spots in the neck and face, which are all very minor. The fine details throughout, particularly in the hair, are beautifully preserved. The painting is visibly dirty.


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.

Please note that there is a guarantee and an irrevocable bid on this lot.
Silberman collection, New York;
Berwin collection, Philadelphia;
Louis M. Rabinowitz, New York;
By whom anonymously sold, London, Sotheby’s, 24 June 1970, lot 26 (as Pier Maria Pennacchi);
Mario Lanfranchi, Rome, by 1976;
Private collection;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 8 July 1987, lot 28 (as Pier Maria Pennachi);
There acquired by the present collector. 
G. Fiocco, "Pier Maria Pennachi," in Rivista dell’Istituto di archeologia e storia dell’arte, vol. I, 1929, pp. 98-99;
L. Venturi, The Rabinowitz Collection, New York 1945, pp. 37-38, reproduced plate XVI (as Pier Maria Pennacchi, and as Salvator Mundi);
L. Venturi, “Tre pitture venete della collezione Rabinowitz,” in Arte Veneta, vol. I 1947, pp. 20-21 (as Pier Maria Pennacchi);
L. Coletti, “Pittura Veneta del Tre e Quattrocento,” in Arte Veneta, vol. I, 1947, pp. 5-9, reproduced plate 16 (as Pier Maria Pennacchi);
A. Martini, “Spigolature Venete,” in Arte Veneta, vol. XI, 1957, p. 59 (as Pier Maria Pennacchi);
F. Heinemann, Giovanni Bellini e i belliniani, Venice 1960, p. 57, under cat. no. 192, version k (as Pier Maria Pennacchi);
V. Sgarbi, “Pier Maria Pennacchi e Lorenzo Lotto," in Prospettiva, July 1977, no. 10, pp. 42-43, reproduced fig. 8 (as Pier Maria Pennacchi);
V. Sgarbi, “Il fregio di Castelfranco e la cultura bramantesca,” in Giorgione, Atti del Convengo Internazionale di studi, 1979, p. 274;
M. Lucco, “Riflessi lombardi nel Veneto (un abbozzo di ricerca sui precedenti culturali del Lotto),” in Lorenzo Lotto a Treviso. Ricerche e Restauri, exhibition catalogue, 1980, p. 65, no. 67 (Jacopo da Valenza);
S. Guarino, “Lorenzo Lotto e la cerchia di Alvise Vivarini,” in Lorenzo Lotto, Atti del Convegno Internazionale di studi per il V Centenario della nascità, 18-21 september, 1980, 1981, p. 44;
G. Nepi Scirè, “Il pittore trevigiano Pier Maria Pennacchi, “ in Lorenzo Lotto e la cerchia di Alvise Vivarini, in Lorenzo Lotto, Atti del Convegno Internazionale di studi per il V Centenario della nascità, p. 38, reproduced fig. 3 (as Pier Maria Pennacchi);
S. Guarino, "Lorenzo Lotto e la Cerchia di Alvise Vivarini," in Lorenzo Lotto, Atti, Convegno Internazionale di studi per il V centenario della nascita, p. 44, reproduced fig. 2; 
F. Trevisani, “Osservazioni sulla mostra Lorenzo Lotto nelle Marche. Il suo tempo. Il suo influsso,” in Arte Veneta, XXXV, 1981, p. 278;
F. Trevisani, Restauri in Polesine. Dipinti: documentazione e conservazione, 1984, p. 70 (as Jacopo da Valenza);
F. Frangi, in The Martello collection: further paintings, drawings, and miniatures, 13-18th century, Florence 1992, pp. 148-151, cat. no. 35, reproduced (as attributed to Pier Maria Pennacchi).

This arresting portrayal of Christ Blessing is one of the many paintings from the Veneto inspired by a now-lost prototype by Giovanni Bellini.1 It was painted by Jacopo da Valenza, of whom very little biographical detail is known. He was active throughout the Veneto from circa 1485-1509 in cities such as Serravalle, Belluno and Feltre. One of the earliest known works concretely attributed to him is a signed, bust-length Madonna and Child dated 1485 and formerly in the collection of Marino Pagani, Belluno.2Although the present panel has been given in the past to Pier Maria Pennacchi, a contemporary artist active in Treviso in the Veneto, Mauro Lucco was among the first art historians, alongside Federico Zeri and Carlo Volpe and later Trevisani, to see the youthful hand of Jacopo da Valenza at work here. Lucco dates this painting to about 1484-1485, placing it very early in the artist’s career, close in execution to Jacopo’s Pieta in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt.3


We are grateful to Mauro Lucco for endorsing the attribution to Jacopo da Valenza and for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.  


1. F. Heinemann, Giovanni Bellini e i Belliniani, Venice 1962, vol. I, p. 58;

2.  M. De Grassi, “Una "Madonna con il Bambino" di Jacopo da Valenza ritrovata,” in Arte veneta, 57.2000 (2003), 2, pp. 62-66.

3. B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Venetian School, vol. I, London 1957, plate 356).