View full screen - View 1 of Lot 116. The Plague at Pergamea; The Sicilian Games          .
116

Giovanni Francesco di Niccolò di Luteri, called Dosso Dossi

The Plague at Pergamea; The Sicilian Games

Irrevocable BidsGuaranteed Property

Estimate:

3,000,000

to
- 5,000,000 USD

Giovanni Francesco di Niccolò di Luteri, called Dosso Dossi

Giovanni Francesco di Niccolò di Luteri, called Dosso Dossi

The Plague at Pergamea; The Sicilian Games

The Plague at Pergamea; The Sicilian Games

Estimate:

3,000,000

to
- 5,000,000 USD

Lot sold:

6,238,800

USD

Giovanni Francesco di Niccolò di Luteri, called Dosso Dossi

Tramuschio circa 1486 - 1541/2 Ferrara

The Plague at Pergamea;

The Sicilian Games


a pair, both oil on canvas

each: 23 by 66 in.; 58.5 by 167.5 cm. 

(2)

The following condition report has been provided by Karen Thomas of Thomas Art Conservation LLC., 336 West 37th Street, Suite 830, New York, NY 10018, 212-564-4024, info@thomasartconservation.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.


The Plague at Pergamea: This painting is in excellent condition overall. Retouching is primarily found along the top and bottom edges, to address losses along nearly the full width of the painting. A few smaller losses, restored, are scattered throughout the painting. Otherwise the paint layers are remarkably intact. The imagery wraps around the left edge of the stretcher, due to this painting having been part of the frieze that was removed from its original setting in the Castello Estense, cut into segments, and dispersed. The canvas support is structurally sound and attached to a six-member wood strainer that doesn't provide full tension to the support. Mild soft planar distortions cross the surface but are not noticeable in normal viewing conditions. The varnish is clear with a glossy surface.


Sicilian Games: This painting is in very good condition overall, with a patina of age that is appropriate to the picture. The imagery wraps around the right edge of the stretcher, reflecting its having been part of a frieze that was cut down into a series of individual scenes. A fine craquelure pattern across the surface causes some scattering of light, which could be addressed by reviving the varnish. Like the associated painting, retouching is concentrated along the top and bottom edges, to address losses. Restoration also reinforces and adds leaves in the right half of the right-most tree, while numerous small retouches visually suppress wear and staining in the sky. Some thinness is visible in the darks in the crowd, apparently due to age-related increased transparency of the paint. A portion of the varnish has been disturbed in the right side of the central thicket of trees, as if a liquid was splashed on the surface; this does not appear to have affected the paint layer. The canvas support is in sound condition and attached to a six-member wood strainer. The tension is adequate. The varnish is even but has a slightly dry appearance.This pair of paintings may be displayed in its current condition, although reviving the varnish of Sicilian Games would improve the surface. One could consider edge-lining the paintings and attaching them to new keyable stretchers in order to improve the tension and planarity, but this is not strictly necessary for the longevity of the pictures.


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.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Please note that there is a guarantee and an irrevocable bid on this lot.
Commissioned by Alfonso I d'Este (1476 - 1534), Duke of Ferrara for his camerino d'alabastro, Castello Estense, Ferrara, circa 1518;
By descent to his son, Ercole II d'Este (1508 - 1559);
By descent to his son, Alfonso II d'Este (1533 - 1597);
From whom passed to Cardinal Scipione Borghese  (1577 - 1633), Rome, circa 1607;
By descent to Giovan Battista Borghese (1639 - 1717), Prince of Rossano, Palazzo Borghese, Campo Marzio, Rome (nos. 222 and probably 357 in the 1693 inventory);
José de Madrazo (1781-1859), Madrid, likely acquired during his stay in Rome between 1803-1819 and until at least 1856 (nos. 74 and 76 in his 1856 inventory);
Private collection, Europe, by the early 20th century;
Thence by descent in the family;
With Calypso Fine Art, Ltd., by 1999;
From whom acquired, 1999.
K. Christiansen, “Dosso Dossi’s Aeneas frieze for Alfonso d’Este’s Camerino,” in Apollo, January 2000, pp. 36-45, reproduced figs. 1 and 2;
A. Ballarin, Il camerino delle pitture di Alfonso I, Cittadella 2002, vol. I, pp. 397-404, cat. nos. P7 and P9, reproduced figs. 65-69; vol. II, passim; vol. IV, pp. 562-574;
D. Jaffe (ed.), Titian, exhibition catalogue, London 2003, pp. 101-103, reproduced, figs. 49 and 50;
V. Newhouse, Art and the Power of Placement, New York 2005, p. 274-275, reproduced figs. 271 and 272;
G. Fiorenza, Dosso Dossi: Paintings of Myth, Magic, and the Antique, University Park, PA 2008, pp. 73-75, reproduced p. 74, figs. 33 and 34;
N. Penny, ed., Collecting Sculpture in Early Modern Europe, New Haven 2008, pp. 238-239;
A. Colantuono, Titian, Colonna, and the Renaissance Science of Procreation: Eguicola's Seasons of Desire, Surrey 2010, the latter referenced p. 169, 172 and reproduced pp. 170-171, reproduced fig. 5.4;
R. Berzaghi, "Una segnalazione per le 'Storia di Enea' di Dosso Dossi," in Prospettiva, July-October 2010, no. 139-140, pp. 135-136, nos. 74 and 76, note 3; 
P. Humfrey, "More on Dosso's Aeneas Frieze," in Artibus et Historiae, no. 81, 2020, pp. 138, 143, 147 reproduced p. 140, figs. 4 and 5.
London, National Gallery, Titian, 19 February - 18 May 2003;
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September - December 2006, on loan.