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Čís. položky 23


Antonio Maria Vassallo - a pair (2)


Antonio Maria Vassallo - a pair (2) - Alte Meister

(Genoa 1617/18–1660 Milan)
Still life with dog; and Still life with pheasant, goose and peacock,
oil on canvas, 105 x 158.5 cm, a pair, framed (2)

We are grateful to Anna Orlando for confirming the attribution and for cataloguing the present paintings, after examination of the originals.

The entire œuvre of Anton Maria Vassallo, “the most Flemish of the Genoese”, is a kaleidoscope of the small details of daily life, in which protagonists, dogs, cats, birds and monkeys provide lively animation in compositions of fruit, vegetables and objects. Vassallo followed the example of Flemish painters active in Genoa, Jan Roos, Giacomo Legi and Pieter Boel, and was a leading exponent in establishing a taste and genre dubbed “Flemish-Genoese animated still life” (see A. Orlando, Pittura fiammingo-genovese. Nature morte, ritratti, paesaggi dei Seicento e primo Settecento. Ritrovamenti dal collezionismo privato, Allemandi, Turin 2012, pp. 160-175, with earlier bibliography).

The present pair of paintings, with the quality of details and felicity of the overall compositions, offers excellent examples of this specific aspect of Vassallo’s œuvre. He was also a skilled portraitist and painter of sacred, biblical and mythological scenes, but it was with still life paintings that he offered his most important contribution to the history of art.

A number of well-known pictures may be compared to these. Some of them have a very similar format and analogous richness and liveliness of content. See, for example, the Table laden with pastries near a spring (A. Orlando ibid, 2012, p. 169) and the Animated still life in a Danish collection (A. Orlando ibid., 2012, p. 170). In others, also similar in size, we find almost identical elements, such as the white turkey in the picture with Cat in the chicken coop in a private collection in Novi Ligure, probably cut down from its original size (A. Orlando, Anton Maria Vassallo, Genoa 1999, pp. 96-96), and the peacock in Still life with parrot, peacock and other animals, location unknown (A. Orlando ibid., 2012, fig. 87 p. 170). But the elements that can be traced in these and other pictures, and which recur in this pair, are actually numerous, and, because of the artist’s custom of re-assembling them in different compositions, consist of a sort of collage of repertory elements. However each time they appear, they are treated as though recorded from life.

A detail in one of these two paintings is particularly interesting and constitutes a significant clue in confirming the high level of patronage that the high quality of these works would suggest. A dog, frozen as though by magic by the painter´s eye, runs across the scene, wearing an unusual collar that appears almost at the centre of the canvas. On the red band, at least three letters stand out clearly: “…VLA”. Then there is a crest and the letters “GI…”. The crest is of the Spinola family, which explains the letters “VLA”, the final letters of “Spinula”, which was the Latin version of the well-known aristocratic Genoese family. The letters “GI” after the crest are probably the start of the name “Gio.” for Giovanni. This was often placed before other first names in many aristocratic families, such as Gio. Stefano, Gio. Andrea, Gio. Francesco. Above all, Gio. Battista, a very common name for John the Baptist (Giovanni Battista), is the city’s patron saint.

It is currently hard to say for which member of the family Spinola Vassallo painted these two fine works, as no trace has yet been found in the known inventories of the artist´s works (see Orlando 1999, pp. 149-141). That he did indeed work for the Spinola family is, however, proven by the existence of another painting in which the family’s crest appears as a highlight (A. Orlando, Nature morte di Anton Maria Vassallo, in: Proporzioni I/2000, pl. 207).

21.04.2015 - 18:00

Dosažená cena: **
EUR 56.250,-
Odhadní cena:
EUR 30.000,- do EUR 40.000,-

Antonio Maria Vassallo - a pair (2)


(Genoa 1617/18–1660 Milan)
Still life with dog; and Still life with pheasant, goose and peacock,
oil on canvas, 105 x 158.5 cm, a pair, framed (2)

We are grateful to Anna Orlando for confirming the attribution and for cataloguing the present paintings, after examination of the originals.

The entire œuvre of Anton Maria Vassallo, “the most Flemish of the Genoese”, is a kaleidoscope of the small details of daily life, in which protagonists, dogs, cats, birds and monkeys provide lively animation in compositions of fruit, vegetables and objects. Vassallo followed the example of Flemish painters active in Genoa, Jan Roos, Giacomo Legi and Pieter Boel, and was a leading exponent in establishing a taste and genre dubbed “Flemish-Genoese animated still life” (see A. Orlando, Pittura fiammingo-genovese. Nature morte, ritratti, paesaggi dei Seicento e primo Settecento. Ritrovamenti dal collezionismo privato, Allemandi, Turin 2012, pp. 160-175, with earlier bibliography).

The present pair of paintings, with the quality of details and felicity of the overall compositions, offers excellent examples of this specific aspect of Vassallo’s œuvre. He was also a skilled portraitist and painter of sacred, biblical and mythological scenes, but it was with still life paintings that he offered his most important contribution to the history of art.

A number of well-known pictures may be compared to these. Some of them have a very similar format and analogous richness and liveliness of content. See, for example, the Table laden with pastries near a spring (A. Orlando ibid, 2012, p. 169) and the Animated still life in a Danish collection (A. Orlando ibid., 2012, p. 170). In others, also similar in size, we find almost identical elements, such as the white turkey in the picture with Cat in the chicken coop in a private collection in Novi Ligure, probably cut down from its original size (A. Orlando, Anton Maria Vassallo, Genoa 1999, pp. 96-96), and the peacock in Still life with parrot, peacock and other animals, location unknown (A. Orlando ibid., 2012, fig. 87 p. 170). But the elements that can be traced in these and other pictures, and which recur in this pair, are actually numerous, and, because of the artist’s custom of re-assembling them in different compositions, consist of a sort of collage of repertory elements. However each time they appear, they are treated as though recorded from life.

A detail in one of these two paintings is particularly interesting and constitutes a significant clue in confirming the high level of patronage that the high quality of these works would suggest. A dog, frozen as though by magic by the painter´s eye, runs across the scene, wearing an unusual collar that appears almost at the centre of the canvas. On the red band, at least three letters stand out clearly: “…VLA”. Then there is a crest and the letters “GI…”. The crest is of the Spinola family, which explains the letters “VLA”, the final letters of “Spinula”, which was the Latin version of the well-known aristocratic Genoese family. The letters “GI” after the crest are probably the start of the name “Gio.” for Giovanni. This was often placed before other first names in many aristocratic families, such as Gio. Stefano, Gio. Andrea, Gio. Francesco. Above all, Gio. Battista, a very common name for John the Baptist (Giovanni Battista), is the city’s patron saint.

It is currently hard to say for which member of the family Spinola Vassallo painted these two fine works, as no trace has yet been found in the known inventories of the artist´s works (see Orlando 1999, pp. 149-141). That he did indeed work for the Spinola family is, however, proven by the existence of another painting in which the family’s crest appears as a highlight (A. Orlando, Nature morte di Anton Maria Vassallo, in: Proporzioni I/2000, pl. 207).


Horká linka kupujících Po-Pá: 9.00 - 18.00
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Alte Meister
Datum: 21.04.2015 - 18:00
Místo konání aukce: Wien | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 11.04. - 21.04.2015


** Kupní cena vč. poplatku kupujícího a DPH

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