Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 6

Gherardo Poli and Giuseppe Poli
A Performance from the Commedia dell’Arte set in a Piazza

1725-1730

$75,000

About

Gherardo Poli (Florence, 1676 – 1745) and Giuseppe Poli (Florence, 1704 – 1747 Pisa) A Performance from the Commedia dell’Arte set in a Piazza Oil on canvas 22 ¼ x 36 ¼ inches (56.5 x 92 cm) Provenance: (Possibly) Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 14 June 1924 Galerie Georges Petit, Paris Juan Manuel Acevedo Chevallier, Paris and Buenos Aires, until 1980; by descent to his daughter: Estela Acevedo Anchorena, Countess Deym von Stritez, until 2012; thence her estate, until 2016 Exhibited: “De El Greco a Tiepolo,” Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, 24 August – 27 September 1964, exhibition catalogue, cat. no. 17, as by Jacques Callot. Literature: Franco Canepa, Gherardo e Giuseppe Poli: La pittura di Capriccio nella Toscana di primo settecento, Ospedaletto, Pisa, 2002, pp. 107-108, cat. no. 68. Franco Canepa, in Fantastiche Vedute dal Ciaffieri ai Poli: La pittura di capriccio in Toscana, ed. Pierluigi Carofano, Ospedaletto, Pisa, 2006, pp. 150-151, cat. no. 78. Gherardo and Giuseppe Poli were father-and-son painters of the early eighteenth century. Although they were Florentine by birth, the Poli’s were active mainly in Pisa and must have shared a studio there, as they routinely collaborated on the architectural and theatrical scenes for which they are best known. The present painting is an outstanding example of the Poli’s capriccio compositions. A town square of elaborate, fanciful architecture is the setting for an outdoor stage on which a commedia dell’arte production takes place. A large, somewhat boisterous group gathers round the stage to watch the play, while others in groups go about their business. Franco Canepa considers the present painting to be one of the finest works by the Poli, dating it 1725-1730, the period of the closest cooperation between father and son (written communication). He identifies the figures as by the hand of Gherardo and the architectural structures by Giuseppe. Canepa has written that the Poli’s depictions of the commedia dell’arte are especially rare and important for our understanding of their art. He notes that this work presents two levels of performance. The first is constituted by the costumed and masked troupe that acts out the play before the painted curtain. The second is that of the townspeople who perform for the viewer of the painting against the background of the Baroque architecture and statues. Our painting is in many ways unique in the Poli’s oeuvre, in that the curtain backdrop behind the actors is itself a capriccio of ancient buildings, much like those in the fictive town square in which the painting is set. The works of Gherardo and Giuseppe Poli have frequently been confused with those of Jacques Callot, to whom the present painting was once attributed. The performers include the masked figure of Pulcinella at the right, and at the far left Razullo, strumming an excessively long lute. In a print by Callot, a depiction of Razullo is set before an outdoor stage strikingly similar to that seen in the present work (Fig. 1). While the Poli may have taken some inspiration from Callot’s series of etchings of commedia dell’arte characters, the present painting also appears to be a comment on Callot’s work and his time. Dr. John T. Spike, who considers this painting a work of exceptional quality by the Poli, has noted that the artists’ appropriation of Callot’s street theater scenes, painted almost a century earlier, encourages us to note the differences between these works. While Callot depicted such scenes unfolding in shabby and rural towns, the Poli’s painting sets the performance in a magnificent city filled with beautifully dressed people. In this way, the fantasy of the stage spills out into the street, as the new and improved setting and citizenry signal that whereas Callot’s day was tough and grimy, the eighteenth century was glorious and joyful (written communication).

Details

  • Creator
    Gherardo Poli and Giuseppe Poli
  • Creation Year
    1725-1730
  • Dimensions
    Height: 22.25 in. (56.52 cm)Width: 36.25 in. (92.08 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1027006562

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
Established in 1997
1stDibs seller since 2012
12 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

French 18th Century landscape painting of Sailors at a quay under misty skies
By Adrien Manglard
Located in Petworth, GB
Adrien Manglard (French, 1695-1760) Sailors at a quay under misty skies Oil on canvas Signed with initials `AM’ (on a barrel, lower left) 35 x 20.7/8 in. (89 x 53 cm.)
Category

18th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

18th Century Neoclassical Oil Painting of the Trojan War: Briseis & Achilles
By James Thornhill
Located in London, GB
James Thornhill (1674-1735) Oil on canvas 12 x 14 inches; 16 ½ x 18 ½ in. Inc. frame The subject matter and inclusion of herms on both sides shows the influence of Louis Laguerre (...
Category

Early 18th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

18th Century English Oil Landscape Painting: Elegant Figures alongside River Wye
By Attributed to William Marlow
Located in London, GB
Attributed to William Marlow (English, 1740-1813) Elegant Figures alongside the River Wye 1790 131 x 152 cm, inc. frame This quiet bucolic scene shows figures enjoying their natural...
Category

Late 18th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

18th century Mediterranean Harbour landscape painting - View of Marseille
Located in Antwerp, BE
17th century French port painting by Claude François Lacroix de Marseille showing a Mediterranean harbour scene Both in terms of size and subject, the present work is a perfect exam...
Category

Mid-18th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

The preaching of John the Baptist - Biblical Religious Painting Neoclassicism
Located in Antwerp, BE
Special end of the year sale-offer only until December 26th. 18th century neoclassic painting; The preaching of St John the Baptist. The present painting is a wonderful example of ...
Category

18th Century Old Masters Figurative Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Old Masters Painting of Moses Striking the Rock, Follower of P. F. Mola
Located in Fairview, NC
A painting of Moses Striking the Rock This painting was made in the early 18th century by a follower of Pier Francesco Mola. Pier Francesco Mola is also known as Il Ticinese who was...
Category

18th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Circle of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione "A Sacrifice to Priapus"
By Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
Located in Pymble, AU
Circle of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609 - 1664) "A Sacrifice to Priapus" Between 1645–48 Castiglione created a series of prints one of which is entitled A Satyr reclining at ...
Category

17th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

19th Century Landscape painting 'On the Thames' by Sidney Richard Percy
By Sidney Richard Percy
Located in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
'On the Thames' by Sidney Richard Percy is a beautiful 19th Century Landscape painting.With cattle, sheep, farmers. Showing off the beauitufl English Countryside. Sidney Richard P...
Category

19th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery