10 Highlights from Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

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O pening in New York on Friday, June 28th, Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition will present a carefully curated group of artworks and objects of exceptional quality that draw inspiration from the country-house aesthetic, as exemplified by the magnificent collection assembled by the Dukes of Devonshire over centuries at Chatsworth. On view alongside Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition, the private selling exhibition will be on display in the newly expanded and reimagined galleries at Sotheby's New York. The exhibitions will be open simultaneously and their visual parallel will provide the opportunity to celebrate collecting and collectors, of which Chatsworth and the Devonshire family are amongst the greatest examples in history. Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition will also provide today’s collectors with the opportunity to begin or enrich their collections with works of outstanding quality in the Chatsworth taste.

10 Highlights from Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

  • Frans Hals, Portrait of Gentleman, In Black With Lace Collar and Cuffs
    Apart from his large-scale portraits of civic companies and guards, Frans Hals is best known for his intimate portraits of single figures, such as this one. Although the majority of his sitters are in fact conventionally posed, we associate him above all with jovial larger-than-life characters such as this evidently prosperous and well-fed fellow, who beams at the viewer from under his broad-brimmed hat, his right arm projecting towards us, his forearm resting comfortably on his substantial torso. Hals’ unidentified sitter fills the picture frame, with nothing beyond or behind him other than his shadow mapped in a few broad strokes on the neutral khaki background to distract the viewer. His mouth is closed, but he looks as if he is about to speak; it is the twinkle in his eyes which transforms his expression into a smile. This dashing portrait dates to about twenty years after Chatsworth’s famous painting by Hals, his Portrait of a Man of 1622. Hals was among the most fashionable of artists both in his own day and through to today for collectors of great Dutch Golden Age portraiture. Indeed, many of the greatest English houses boasted works by him as the ultimate symbol of a strong and complete collection.
  • After a Model by Giambologna, Attributed to Francesco or Luigi Righetti, Mercury, circa 1780–1820
    This magnificent sculpture of Mercury belongs to a small group of very fine late 18th-century/mid 19th-century large-scale casts of Giambologna’s model, others of which are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The National Gallery, Washington and at Chatsworth in the collection of the Dukes of Devonshire.
  • Giovanni Antonio Canal, or Canaletto, Architectural Capriccio with Classical Ruins
    This monumental capriccio is an early masterpiece by Canaletto, Italy’s leading 18th-century view painter, and can be dated to the year 1723. Along with its pendant, today in a private collection, it is the largest known work ever painted by the great Venetian master and furthermore includes what is believed to be the only known self-portrait of the artist, who is seen at work through the great archway on the right of the composition. Later in his career, Canaletto would move to England where his success and popularity with his established collector base would reach new heights. Already the most sought-after Venetian vedute painter for Grand Tourists, Canaletto’s move to London in 1746 would solidify his place in the English market and make his work nearly ubiquitous in the country homes throughout the British Isles.
  • Junko Mori, Silver Organism; Square Spikes, 2018
    Junko Mori first appeared at Chatsworth in 2007 as part of the metalwork festival Galvanize Sheffield, where she was selected by the Sheffield Assay Office to create a steel chandelier in the Great Dining Room.
  • Raymond Yard, A Seed Pearl and Diamond Sautoir, early 20th century
    Suspending a seed pearl tassel, capped by old mine, old European and rose-cut diamonds, on a surmount composed of old European-cut diamonds and a pearl, the chain composed of three rows of seed pearls, spaced by openwork plaques set with old European-cut diamonds, signed Yard.
  • An Italian Scagliola Top, Probably Tuscan, second half of the 18th century
    While the technique of scagliola dates to Roman times, panels such as the current example saw their revival in Italy begin during the 16th century as a less costly alternative to inlaid marble. The appeal for these panels continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries due in large part to the collecting taste of Englishmen partaking of their Grand Tour.
  • A Vatican Workshops Micromosaic and Gilt Bronze Centre Table Presented by Pope Pius IX to King George V and Queen Marie of Hanover, Rome, mid-19th century
    The magnificent inlaid floral spray covering the surface of this centre table is a masterpiece of the Vatican Mosaic Workshops. The Papal court ordered such impressive pieces as diplomatic gifts, and its gilt bronze base incorporates a beautifully cast trophy of the Papal attributes. The table was formerly in the House of Hanover collections and would have been offered to King George V of Hanover sometime during the 1850s by Pope Pius IX (1792-1878).
  • Felicity Aylieff, Blue & White Monumental Vase, 2018
    Deeply-rooted within a context of traditional Chinese ceramic production, yet immediately contemporary, Felicity Aylieff reflects on this series as her 'New Ming'. Examples can be found in some of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth.
  • Antonio Joli, London, A View from the River Thames, with St Paul's Cathedral
    Joli painted this view of the recently rebuilt St Paul’s shortly after he arrived in London to work as a cityscape painter. Like the views of Italian cities, views of London served as souvenirs to decorate country homes. This painting came from the collection at Hendon Hall, an early Georgian house purchased on behalf of celebrated actor David Garrick in 1756 and later decorated with the type of 18th-century Italian paintings also acquired by the Dukes of Devonshire.
  • Lucian Freud, Portrait of a Man, 1955
    This painting by Lucian Freud depicts Bernard Walsh, the owner of London’s legendary Wheelers restaurant that was one of the favorite meeting places for the School of London artists. Created shortly before Chatsworth’s Woman in a White Shirt, it was given by Lucian Freud to Bernard Walsh as payment for his tab at Wheelers restaurant. Being exhibited in public for the first time, this painting marks a great friendship between Freud and Walsh, and represents the high point of Freud’s ethereal technique using fine sable brushes.
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