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Čís. položky 39


Luis de Morales


(Badajoz 1509–1586)
Virgin and Child,
oil on panel, 48.5 x 34.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, Spain;
Collection of FundArte Ocular, Badajoz, 2011;
art market, Spain;
acquired by the present owner in 2015

Exhibited:
Badajoz, Museo de Bellas Artes, Proyecto La Obra Invitada: Luis de Morales ‘El Divinio’, Dos tablas de devoción, 20 December 2011 – 22 January 2012 (as Luis de Morales)

We are grateful to Isabel Mateo Gómez for confirming the attribution of the present painting and for her help in cataloguing this lot.

Luis de Morales, called el Divino, may have trained in Seville but lived and worked in Badajoz, on the border between Spain and Portugal. Perhaps in virtue of this distance from the Spanish court, Morales was able to develop his own recognisable style of painting; a convergence of Italian and Flemish influences, coming together to produce highly Mannerist devotional images, are exemplified by this panel of the Virgin and Child.

Evident similarities can be found between the present panel and other works by Morales depicting the Virgin and Child, such as the ones in the Royal Palace in Madrid, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, and the Staatliche Museen in Berlin. In these examples, the child appears on the right side of Mary, who gently pulls him close to her with a concerned expression. The present painting maintains the same delicate gesture; however, here the child is shown on the Virgin’s left side – in her right hand she carries a round object, possibly an apple.

The composition is based on Leonardo’s Madonna of the Yarnwinder or Madonna dei Fusi. The iconography was devised by Leonardo, who first painted it in a lost original which is known to us through a description by Pietro de la Novella in a letter to Isabella d’Este.

The yarn spindle, on the right side of the present painting, is arranged like a cross; the Child reaches out to it, stretching his arms in a gesture which assumes a double meaning: on one side, the playful curiosity of a child interacting with an unfamiliar object. On the other, a solemn movement towards the cross, the premonition of Christ’s sacrifice and omen of his death. The Virgin’s troubled expression clearly shows that she is painfully aware of the events foreshadowed here.

Luis de Morales’ interest in Leonardo is especially evident in his use of chiaroscuro, organically sculpting the subjects’ faces – to which he added a personal dramatism, emphasised by the strong contrast between dark background and light skin tones. A similarity can also be found with Andrea del Sarto’s Madonnas, testimonies of the artist’s engagement with the Florentine School in general. On the other hand, his Flemish training possibly with Peeter de Kempeneer (known in Spain as Pedro de Campaña), is evident in the anatomical modelling and treatment of the folds of the Virgin’s garment, which retain the sharpness of the Northern painterly tradition.

The fruit held in the Virgin’s hand could be an apple, which identifies Christ as ‘the new Adam’ and Mary as ‘the new Eve’ – as both were conceived without sin; it is also a reminder of the mortal nature of the Virgin and Child: because of the apple, Adam and Eve were cast away from paradise.

The small dimensions of this panel indicate that it was likely realised as an object of private devotion. Although the artist was also commissioned to painting large altar pieces, it is his smaller compositions that display his mastery of subtle symbolism and deep emotional character, such as the present painting. Works by Morales convey a sense of personal, intimate spirituality which gave him the name of el Divino, the divine.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com

11.05.2022 - 16:00

Odhadní cena:
EUR 150.000,- do EUR 200.000,-

Luis de Morales


(Badajoz 1509–1586)
Virgin and Child,
oil on panel, 48.5 x 34.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private collection, Spain;
Collection of FundArte Ocular, Badajoz, 2011;
art market, Spain;
acquired by the present owner in 2015

Exhibited:
Badajoz, Museo de Bellas Artes, Proyecto La Obra Invitada: Luis de Morales ‘El Divinio’, Dos tablas de devoción, 20 December 2011 – 22 January 2012 (as Luis de Morales)

We are grateful to Isabel Mateo Gómez for confirming the attribution of the present painting and for her help in cataloguing this lot.

Luis de Morales, called el Divino, may have trained in Seville but lived and worked in Badajoz, on the border between Spain and Portugal. Perhaps in virtue of this distance from the Spanish court, Morales was able to develop his own recognisable style of painting; a convergence of Italian and Flemish influences, coming together to produce highly Mannerist devotional images, are exemplified by this panel of the Virgin and Child.

Evident similarities can be found between the present panel and other works by Morales depicting the Virgin and Child, such as the ones in the Royal Palace in Madrid, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, and the Staatliche Museen in Berlin. In these examples, the child appears on the right side of Mary, who gently pulls him close to her with a concerned expression. The present painting maintains the same delicate gesture; however, here the child is shown on the Virgin’s left side – in her right hand she carries a round object, possibly an apple.

The composition is based on Leonardo’s Madonna of the Yarnwinder or Madonna dei Fusi. The iconography was devised by Leonardo, who first painted it in a lost original which is known to us through a description by Pietro de la Novella in a letter to Isabella d’Este.

The yarn spindle, on the right side of the present painting, is arranged like a cross; the Child reaches out to it, stretching his arms in a gesture which assumes a double meaning: on one side, the playful curiosity of a child interacting with an unfamiliar object. On the other, a solemn movement towards the cross, the premonition of Christ’s sacrifice and omen of his death. The Virgin’s troubled expression clearly shows that she is painfully aware of the events foreshadowed here.

Luis de Morales’ interest in Leonardo is especially evident in his use of chiaroscuro, organically sculpting the subjects’ faces – to which he added a personal dramatism, emphasised by the strong contrast between dark background and light skin tones. A similarity can also be found with Andrea del Sarto’s Madonnas, testimonies of the artist’s engagement with the Florentine School in general. On the other hand, his Flemish training possibly with Peeter de Kempeneer (known in Spain as Pedro de Campaña), is evident in the anatomical modelling and treatment of the folds of the Virgin’s garment, which retain the sharpness of the Northern painterly tradition.

The fruit held in the Virgin’s hand could be an apple, which identifies Christ as ‘the new Adam’ and Mary as ‘the new Eve’ – as both were conceived without sin; it is also a reminder of the mortal nature of the Virgin and Child: because of the apple, Adam and Eve were cast away from paradise.

The small dimensions of this panel indicate that it was likely realised as an object of private devotion. Although the artist was also commissioned to painting large altar pieces, it is his smaller compositions that display his mastery of subtle symbolism and deep emotional character, such as the present painting. Works by Morales convey a sense of personal, intimate spirituality which gave him the name of el Divino, the divine.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com


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

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Obrazy starých mistrů I
Datum: 11.05.2022 - 16:00
Místo konání aukce: Wien | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 30.04. - 11.05.2022