View full screen - View 1 of Lot 64. Mercury and Jupiter | Mercure et Jupiter.
64

Johann Carl Loth

Mercury and Jupiter | Mercure et Jupiter

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 EUR

Johann Carl Loth

Johann Carl Loth

Mercury and Jupiter | Mercure et Jupiter

Mercury and Jupiter | Mercure et Jupiter

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 EUR

Johann Carl Loth

Munich 1632 - 1698 Venice

Mercury and Jupiter


Oil on canvas

107,2 x 154 cm ; 42 1/4 by 60 5/8 in.

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Johann Carl Loth

Munich 1632 - 1698 Venise

Mercure et Jupiter


Huile sur toile

107,2 x 154 cm ; 42 1/4 by 60 5/8 in.

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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.

This painting, which is in very good condition, is a major rediscovery to add to the corpus of works by Johann Carl Loth.


Originally from Munich, son of the Bavarian Court painter Ulrich Loth (1599-1662), Johann Carl spent most of his painting career in Venice, where he died in 1698. He was a pupil of Pietro Liberi (1614-1687), from whom he derived his muscular and powerful figures, and was strongly influenced by the Baroque tenebrism that came out of Caravaggism. He developed a vigorous style of painting, based on dramatic contrasts of light and shade, which he used effectively to sculpt the swelling, athletic bodies of the figures in his paintings.


With its modern composition and framing, this painting is somewhat different to Loth’s usual production: the palette is more unified and the dark background that often makes his works difficult to read is absent, thus enabling a better understanding and appreciation of Loth’s great talent as a painter, which is too often overlooked. 


The subject should undoubtedly be linked to an iconography that was dear to Loth: he often depicted scenes featuring Jupiter and Mercury (notably in the celebrated painting in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, which illustrates the episode of the two deities in the house of Philemon and Baucis). In this case, Jupiter seems to be sending Mercury on a mission. Very probably the task for the messenger of the gods is to lull Argus to sleep and cut off his head, so that Jupiter will be free to have his way with the nymph Io…


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Dans un très bel état de conservation, le tableau est une redécouverte majeure au sein du corpus des œuvres de Johann Carl Loth.


Peintre d’origine munichoise, fils du peintre de la Cour de Bavière Ulrich Loth (1599-1662), Johann Carl effectuera la très grande majorité de sa carrière à Venise, où il décèdera en 1698. Elève de Pietro Liberi (1614-1687), auquel il empruntera les canons musculeux et puissants de ses figures, profondément marqué par le ténébrisme baroque issu du caravagisme, il va développer une peinture vigoureuse, basée sur de violents clair-obscurs qui viennent sculpter littéralement les corps athlétiques et enflés des acteurs de ses toiles.


Moderne dans sa composition et son cadrage, ce tableau diffère sensiblement de la production habituelle de Loth par une palette plus unie et par l’absence de fond sombre qui souvent entrave la lecture de ses œuvres, nous permettant ainsi de comprendre et de profiter au mieux du grand talent de peintre de Loth, trop souvent négligé.


Quant au sujet, il est sans doute à mettre en lien avec une iconographie chère à Loth, puisqu’il représente fréquemment les épisodes mettant en scène Jupiter et Mercure (notamment dans le célèbre tableau du Kunsthistorisches Museum de Vienne, narrant l’histoire des deux divinités chez Philémon et Baucis). Ici Jupiter semble envoyer Mercure en mission. Très probablement s’agit-il pour le messager des dieux d’aller endormir et décapiter Argus, afin que Jupiter puisse retrouver la nymphe Io…