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Francesco de Mura
Latinus welcomes Aeneas and offers his daughter Lavinia in marriage

18th Century

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  • A Wolf
    Located in New York, NY
    Provenance: The Marchesi Strozzi, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence Sale, Christie’s, London, May 20, 1993, lot 315, as by Carl Borromaus Andreas Ruthart...
    Category

    17th Century Old Masters Animal Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Paper, Oil

  • View of St. John’s Cathedral, Antigua
    Located in New York, NY
    Provenance: Robert Hollberton, Antigua, ca. 1841 Private Collection, New York The present painting depicts Old St. John’s Cathedral on the island of Antigua. The church was erected in the 1720s on the designs of the architect Robert Cullen. It measured 130 feet by 50 feet with north and south porches 23 x 20 ½ feet. The tower, 50 feet high with its cupola, was added in 1789. The church was elevated to the status of a cathedral, but disaster struck in the form of an earthquake that destroyed the building on 8 February 1843. A memorandum of that date relates the event: “On Wednesday, 8th February, 1843, this island was visited by a most terrific and destructive earthquake. At twenty minutes before eleven o’clock in the forenoon, while the bell was ringing for prayers, and the venerable Robert Holberton was in the vestry-room, awaiting the arrival of persons to have their marriage solemnized, before the commencement of the morning service, the whole edifice, from one end to the other, was suddenly and violently agitated. Every one within the church, after the first shock, was compelled to escape for his life. The tower was rent from the top to the bottom; the north dial of the clock precipitated to the ground with a dreadful crash; the east parapet wall of the tower thrown upon the roof of the church; almost the whole of the north-west wall by the north gallery fell out in a mass; the north-east wall was protruded beyond the perpendicular; the altar-piece, the public monument erected to the memory of lord Lavington, and the private monuments, hearing the names of Kelsick, Warner, Otley, and Atkinson, fell down piecemeal inside; a large portion of the top of the east wall fell, and the whole of the south-east wall was precipitated into the churchyard, carrying along with it two of the cast-iron windows, while the other six remained projecting from the walls in which they had been originally inserted; a large pile of heavy cut stones and masses of brick fell down at the south and at the north doors; seven of the large frontpipes of the organ were thrown out by the violence of the shock, and many of the metal and wooden pipes within displaced; the massive basin of the font was tossed from the pedestal on which it rested, and pitched upon the pavement beneath uninjured. Thus, within the space of three minutes, this church was reduced to a pile of crumbling ruins; the walls that were left standing being rent in every part, the main roof only remaining sound, being supported by the hard wood pillars.” The entrance from the southern side into the cathedral, which was erected in 1789, included two imposing statues, one of Saint John the Divine and the other of Saint John the Baptist in flowing robes. It is said that these statues were confiscated by the British Navy from the French ship HMS Temple in Martinique waters in 1756 during the Seven Years’ War and moved to the church. The statues are still in situ and can be seen today, much as they appeared in Bisbee’s painting, but with the new cathedral in the background (Fig. 1). Little is known of the career of Ezra Bisbee. He was born in Sag Harbor, New York in 1808 and appears to have had a career as a political cartoonist and a printmaker. His handsome Portrait of President Andrew Jackson is dated 1833, and several political lithographs...
    Category

    19th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Allegory of Abundance
    Located in New York, NY
    Painted in collaboration with Hendrick van Balen (Antwerp, 1575 – 1632). Provenance: Private Collection, Uruguay, since the 1930s. The eldest son of Jan Br...
    Category

    17th Century Old Masters Paintings

    Materials

    Copper

  • Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones
    By Philip Burne-Jones
    Located in New York, NY
    Provenance: Christie’s, London, 3 March 1922, lot 46 (with The Tower of Babel); James Nicoll Private Collection Sotheby’s, London, 29 March 1983, lot 157 Private Collection, New Yo...
    Category

    Late 19th Century Victorian Figurative Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Two Scenes of Diana and Actaeon (a pair)
    By Giovanni Battista Viola
    Located in New York, NY
    Provenance: Robert L. and Bertina Suida Manning, New York, until 1996 Private Collection, USA Giovanni Battista Viola was born in Bologna a...
    Category

    17th Century Baroque Landscape Paintings

    Materials

    Copper

  • Job Cursed by His Wife
    By Giovanni Battista Langetti
    Located in New York, NY
    Provenance: Alfred (1883-1961) and Hermine Stiassni (1889-1962), Brno, Czech Republic, by 1925; thence London, 1938-1940; thence Los Angeles, 1940-1962; thence by descent to: Susanne Stiassni Martin and Leonard Martin, San Francisco, until 2005; thence by descent to: Private Collection, California Exhibited: Künstlerhaus, Brünn (Brno), 1925, as by Ribera. “Art of Collecting,” Flint Institute of Art, Flint, Michigan, 23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019. Literature: Alte Meister...
    Category

    1670s Old Masters Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

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  • Shipping in Stormy Waters, Attributed to Italian Artist Francesco Guardi
    By Francesco Guardi
    Located in Stockholm, SE
    The splendour of the tragic sea Francesco Guardi and maritime painting in Venetian art No Venetian painter was a stranger to the sea. After all, Venice was not only one of the most prominent ports of the Mediterranean, but indeed a city literally submerged in the ocean from time to time. Curiously however, the famous Venetian school of painting showed little interest in maritime motifs, favouring scenes from the iconic architecture of the city rather than seascapes. That is why this painting is a particularly interesting window into not only the painter Francesco Guardi himself – but to the significance of the element of water in art history, in absence as well as in the centre of attention. Whether it be calm, sunny days with stunning views of the palaces alongside the canals of Venice or – more rarely – stormy shipwrecking tragedies at sea, water as a unifying element is integral to the works of painter Francesco Guardi (1712–1793). During his lifetime, Venetian art saw many of its greatest triumphs with names like Tiepolo or Canaletto gaining international recognition and firmly establishing Venice as one of the most vibrant artistic communities of Europe. While the city itself already in the 18th century was something of an early tourist spot where aristocrats and high society visited on their grand tour or travels, the artists too contributed to the fame and their work spread the image of Venice as the city of romance and leisure to an international audience, many of whom could never visit in person. Still today, the iconic image of Venice with its whimsical array of palaces, churches and other historic buildings is much influenced by these artists, many of whom have stood the test of time like very well and remain some of the most beloved in all of art history. It was not primarily subtility, intellectual meanings or moral ideals that the Venetian art tried to capture; instead it was the sheer vibrancy of life and the fast-paced city with crumbling palaces and festive people that made this atmosphere so special. Of course, Venice could count painters in most genres among its residents, from portraiture to religious motifs, history painting and much else. Still, it is the Vedutas and views of the city that seems to have etched itself into our memory more than anything else, not least in the tradition of Canaletto who was perhaps the undisputed master of all Venetian painters. Born into his profession, Francesco lived and breathed painting all his life. His father, the painter Domenico Guardi (1678–1716) died when Francesco was just a small child, yet both he and his brothers Niccolò and Gian Antonio continued in their fathers’ footsteps. The Guardi family belonged to the nobility and originated from the mountainous area of Trentino, not far from the Alps. The brothers worked together on more challenging commissions and supported each other in the manner typical of family workshops or networks of artists. Their sister Maria Cecilia married no other than the artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo himself, linking the family to the most renowned Venetian name of the time. During almost a decade, Guardi worked in the studio of Michele Giovanni Marieschi, sometimes simply known as Michiel, a painted similar in both style and motif. Canaletto is, however, the artist Guardi is most often compared to since they shared a mutual fascination for depicting the architecture and cityscape of Venice. During the course of his career, Guardi tried his hand in many different genres. He was as swift in painting landscapes, Vedutas of Venice, sacred motifs, interiors and architectural compositions as he was in a number of other motifs. His style is typical of the Venetian school but also distinct and personal once we look a little closer. There is an absolute certainty in the composition, the choice of which sometimes feels like that of a carefully calculated photograph – yet it is also very painterly, in the best sense of the word: fluid, bold, sensitive and full of character. The brushwork is rapid, intense, seemingly careless and extraordinarily minute at the same time; fresh and planned in a very enjoyable mixture. His interiors often capture the breath-taking spacious glamour of the palaces and all their exquisite decor. He usually constructed the motif through remarkably simple, almost spontaneous yet intuitively precise strokes and shapes. The result was a festive, high-spirited atmospheric quality, far away from the sterile and exact likeness that other painters fell victim to when trying to copy Canaletto. The painting here has nothing of the city of Venice in it. On the contrary, we seem to be transported far away into the solitary ocean, with no architecture, nothing to hold on to – only the roaring sea and the dangerous cliffs upon which the ships are just moments away from being crushed upon. It is a maritime composition evoking both Flemish and Italian precursors, in the proud tradition of maritime painting that for centuries formed a crucial part of our visual culture. This genre of painting is today curiously overlooked, compared to how esteemed and meaningful it was when our relationship to the sea was far more natural than it is today. When both people and goods travelled by water, and many nations and cities – Venice among them – depended entirely on sea fare, the existential connection to the ocean was much more natural and integrated into the imagination. The schools and traditions of maritime art are as manifold as there are countries connected to the sea, and all reflect the need to process the dangers and wonders of the ocean. It could symbolize opportunity, the exciting prospects of a new countries and adventures, prospering trade, beautiful scenery as well as war and tragedy, loss of life, danger and doom. To say that water is ambivalent in nature is an understatement, and these many layers were something that artists explored in the most wondrous ways. Perhaps it takes a bit more time for the modern eye to identify the different nuances and qualities of historic maritime paintings, they may on first impression seem hard to differentiate from each other. But when allowing these motifs to unfold and tell stories of the sea in both fiction and reality – or somewhere in between – we are awarded with an understanding of how the oceans truly built our world. In Guardi’s interpretation, we see an almost theatrically arranged shipwrecking scene. No less than five ships are depicted right in the moment of utter disaster. Caught in a violent storm, the waves have driven them to a shore of sharp cliffs and if not swallowed by the waves, crushing against the cliffs seems to be the only outcome. The large wooden ships are impressively decorated with elaborate sculpture, and in fact relics already during Guardi’s lifetime. They are in fact typical of Dutch and Flemish 17th century ships, giving us a clue to where he got the inspiration from. Guardi must have seen examples of Flemish maritime art, that made him curious about these particular motifs. One is reminded of Flemish painters like Willem van de Velde and Ludolf Backhuysen, and this very painting has indeed been mistakenly attributed to Matthieu van Plattenberg...
    Category

    18th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • Early oil depicting the Great Fire of London
    Located in London, GB
    The Great Fire of London in September 1666 was one of the greatest disasters in the city’s history. The City, with its wooden houses crowded together in narrow streets, was a natural fire risk, and predictions that London would burn down became a shocking reality. The fire began in a bakery in Pudding Lane, an area near the Thames teeming with warehouses and shops full of flammable materials, such as timber, oil, coal, pitch and turpentine. Inevitably the fire spread rapidly from this area into the City. Our painting depicts the impact of the fire on those who were caught in it and creates a very dramatic impression of what the fire was like. Closer inspection reveals a scene of chaos and panic with people running out of the gates. It shows Cripplegate in the north of the City, with St Giles without Cripplegate to its left, in flames (on the site of the present day Barbican). The painting probably represents the fire on the night of Tuesday 4 September, when four-fifths of the City was burning at once, including St Paul's Cathedral. Old St Paul’s can be seen to the right of the canvas, the medieval church with its thick stone walls, was considered a place of safety, but the building was covered in wooden scaffolding as it was in the midst of being restored by the then little known architect, Christopher Wren and caught fire. Our painting seems to depict a specific moment on the Tuesday night when the lead on St Paul’s caught fire and, as the diarist John Evelyn described: ‘the stones of Paul’s flew like grenades, the melting lead running down the streets in a stream and the very pavements glowing with the firey redness, so as no horse, nor man, was able to tread on them.’ Although the loss of life was minimal, some accounts record only sixteen perished, the magnitude of the property loss was shocking – some four hundred and thirty acres, about eighty per cent of the City proper was destroyed, including over thirteen thousand houses, eighty-nine churches, and fifty-two Guild Halls. Thousands were homeless and financially ruined. The Great Fire, and the subsequent fire of 1676, which destroyed over six hundred houses south of the Thames, changed the appearance of London forever. The one constructive outcome of the Great Fire was that the plague, which had devastated the population of London since 1665, diminished greatly, due to the mass death of the plague-carrying rats in the blaze. The fire was widely reported in eyewitness accounts, newspapers, letters and diaries. Samuel Pepys recorded climbing the steeple of Barking Church from which he viewed the destroyed City: ‘the saddest sight of desolation that I ever saw.’ There was an official enquiry into the causes of the fire, petitions to the King and Lord Mayor to rebuild, new legislation and building Acts. Naturally, the fire became a dramatic and extremely popular subject for painters and engravers. A group of works relatively closely related to the present picture have been traditionally ascribed to Jan Griffier...
    Category

    17th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

    Materials

    Oil, Canvas

  • 19th Century By Giustino Menescardi Ascent of Calvary Oil on Canvas
    Located in Milano, Lombardia
    Giustino Menescardi (Milan, c. 1720 - Venice, after 1779) Ascent of Calvary Oil on canvas, cm. 47 x 36 - with frame cm. 57x43 Shaped and gilded wooden cassetta frame Publications:...
    Category

    Early 18th Century Old Masters Landscape Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Cotton 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 figur...
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  • Sheltering from the storm - Romantic landscape illuminated by lightning bolt -
    By George Morland
    Located in Berlin, DE
    George Morland (1763 London - 1804 Brighton). Sheltering from the Storm. Oil on canvas, relined, 37.5 x 29.5 cm (visible size), 53.5 x 45.5 cm (frame), signed and dated at lower left...
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  • Two countrywomen with a donkey - Melancholy in an atmosphere of colour -
    Located in Berlin, DE
    Pierre Louis De La Rive (1753 Geneva - 1817 Geneva). Two countrywomen with a donkey. Oil on canvas, mounted, 27 x 20 cm (visible size), 37 x 31 (frame), monogrammed "P.R." at lower right. About the artwork De La Rive has taken the typical scenes of Dutch landscape genre paintings...
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    1790s Old Masters Figurative Paintings

    Materials

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