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Čís. položky 110


Stefano Magnasco


(Genoa 1635 – after 1681)
Juno and Argus,
oil on canvas, 52 x 86 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, South America;
where acquired by the present owner

We are grateful to Anna Orlando for confirming the attribution and for her help in cataloguing this lot.

The present unpublished painting is an important addition to the oeuvre of Stefano Magnasco. The paint surface, with its bright palette and the quality of the composition, make this work one of the painter’s most significant achievements.

This work is the product of an artist who was entirely steeped in the baroque mode of composition. It illustrates a full assimilation of the example of Magnasco’s master, Valerio Castello, updated in line with the innovations of Pietro da Cortona and his school in Rome, reflecting all that Magnasco studied during the five or so years he spent living in the Eternal City. The element of landscape in the present painting particularly suggests its creation to have been during the artist’s Roman period, as can be illustrated by comparisons with works assigned to this time. On the basis of these observations, this small masterpiece by Stefano Magnasco can be dated to about 1660.

Stefano Magnasco, father of the celebrated Alessandro, was born in Genoa in around 1635, he received his training from Valerio Castello, moving to Rome in around 1656, at which time there was an outbreak of the plague in Genoa. He did not return to the town of this birth until around 1660. The artist’s final decade of activity, (1660-1672), revealed a painter whose pictorial language had undergone a complete renewal. Working on a large scale he entirely abandoned the light touch he had learned from Valerio Castello, instead seeking a greater sculptural quality in his figures, which are now firmly drawn and outlined, filled out with clearly defined fields of colour. However, in small scale canvases such as the present painting, he retained a pleasant lightness of touch which he successfully manages to unite with a certain monumental quality, particularly in the figures.

This painting represents a passage from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (I: 721-728). The goddess Juno, represented enthroned among the clouds and surrounded by her maids, was the wife and sister of Jupiter, the King of Olympus. The god’s many betrayals ignited the rage of Juno and the present painting relates to the story of her decision to engage Argus, the ‘monster of one hundred eyes’, to guard Jupiter’s lover, the maiden Io. Jupiter, becoming aware of her actions, engages Mercury to kill Argus. We see here the severed head of Argus being presented to Juno, who, in response, removes the monster’s one hundred eyes, placing them on the tail feathers of her sacred bird, the peacock, which is displayed here in great splendor in the foreground, illustrating the mythological source of the peacock’s magnificent tail.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 403

mark.macdonnell@dorotheum.at

10.11.2020 - 16:00

Odhadní cena:
EUR 60.000,- do EUR 80.000,-

Stefano Magnasco


(Genoa 1635 – after 1681)
Juno and Argus,
oil on canvas, 52 x 86 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, South America;
where acquired by the present owner

We are grateful to Anna Orlando for confirming the attribution and for her help in cataloguing this lot.

The present unpublished painting is an important addition to the oeuvre of Stefano Magnasco. The paint surface, with its bright palette and the quality of the composition, make this work one of the painter’s most significant achievements.

This work is the product of an artist who was entirely steeped in the baroque mode of composition. It illustrates a full assimilation of the example of Magnasco’s master, Valerio Castello, updated in line with the innovations of Pietro da Cortona and his school in Rome, reflecting all that Magnasco studied during the five or so years he spent living in the Eternal City. The element of landscape in the present painting particularly suggests its creation to have been during the artist’s Roman period, as can be illustrated by comparisons with works assigned to this time. On the basis of these observations, this small masterpiece by Stefano Magnasco can be dated to about 1660.

Stefano Magnasco, father of the celebrated Alessandro, was born in Genoa in around 1635, he received his training from Valerio Castello, moving to Rome in around 1656, at which time there was an outbreak of the plague in Genoa. He did not return to the town of this birth until around 1660. The artist’s final decade of activity, (1660-1672), revealed a painter whose pictorial language had undergone a complete renewal. Working on a large scale he entirely abandoned the light touch he had learned from Valerio Castello, instead seeking a greater sculptural quality in his figures, which are now firmly drawn and outlined, filled out with clearly defined fields of colour. However, in small scale canvases such as the present painting, he retained a pleasant lightness of touch which he successfully manages to unite with a certain monumental quality, particularly in the figures.

This painting represents a passage from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (I: 721-728). The goddess Juno, represented enthroned among the clouds and surrounded by her maids, was the wife and sister of Jupiter, the King of Olympus. The god’s many betrayals ignited the rage of Juno and the present painting relates to the story of her decision to engage Argus, the ‘monster of one hundred eyes’, to guard Jupiter’s lover, the maiden Io. Jupiter, becoming aware of her actions, engages Mercury to kill Argus. We see here the severed head of Argus being presented to Juno, who, in response, removes the monster’s one hundred eyes, placing them on the tail feathers of her sacred bird, the peacock, which is displayed here in great splendor in the foreground, illustrating the mythological source of the peacock’s magnificent tail.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 403

mark.macdonnell@dorotheum.at


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

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Obrazy starých mistrů
Datum: 10.11.2020 - 16:00
Místo konání aukce: Vídeň | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 04.11. - 10.11.2020