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Lot No. 115


Giacomo Ceruti


Giacomo Ceruti - Old Master Paintings

(Milan 1698–1767)
A woman holding a spindle,
oil on canvas, 54 x 42 cm, framed

Provenance:
sale, Sotheby’s, London, 3 July 1996, lot 284 (as Giacomo Ceruti);
Private collection, Parma

Literature:
L. Anelli, Pietro Bellotti: da Venezia a Milano, in: A. Orlando (ed.), Pietro Bellotti e dintorni. Dipinti veneti e lombardi tra realtà e “genere” dalla collezione Koelliker, exhibition catalogue, Brescia 2007, p. 22, fig. 23 (as Pietro Bellotti);
N. Roio, in: E. Negro/N. Roio, On the Road 2011, exhibition catalogue, Berceto 2011, no. 18 (as Giacomo Ceruti)

We are grateful to Francesco Frangi for confirming the attribution and for his help in cataloguing the present painting.

The present painting, depicts a woman holding a spindle for spinning wool thread. The protagonist wears unusually refined attire, as demonstrated by her white cap, which is decorated with rose motifs and embellished with lace bordering, her earrings, necklace and the ring on her finger, as well as her white lace blouse over which she wears a bodice and a brown shawl.

Aside from the present work’s clear correspondence with the Milanese painter’s iconographic and typological repertoire, its attribution to Giacomo Ceruti is also strongly suggested by its stylistic traits. Especially by the sincere and immediate tone with which the protagonist is represented, and by the naturalistic intensity of the painting, which is especially appreciable in the rose-tones applied to describe the flesh tones, and in the exacting highlighting of luminous details of dress. The description of the woman’s features finds a persuasive counterpart in the Autoritratto in veste di Pellegrino in the collection of the Comune di Abano Terma, which is dated 1737 (see: M. Gregori Giacomo Ceruti Milan 1982, p. 450, n. 120). Here similarly beautiful passages of epistemic truthfulness predominate, see for example the way in which the eyelids are described: they are in everyway similarly distinguished in the present painting. Likewise the passage of the woman’s strong hand vigorously holding the spindle finds a counterpart in the Abano Self Portrait as a Pilgrim where the analytic description of the drawn and leathery skin of the hand stands out almost as a signature. Comparisons with other well-known half figures of low subjects by Ceruti are of equal significance, both on account of their stylistic resolution, and for the naturalistic ‘presence’ communicated by the figures in their execution. Among these we might list the Vecchia Contadina in a private collection at Nigoline di Corte Franca, the Mendicante in the Kunstmuseum, Goteborg and the Vecchio che chiede l’elemosina in a private collection (see: F. Frangi, in: Giacomo Cerutti. Il Pitocchetto exh. cat., Brescia – Milan 1987, pp. 178, 182, 183).

Due to its date of 1737, the Abano canvas provides the first important indication of the present painting’s proper chronological placement, which appears to be supported by further comparisons. Owing to the richness of the impasto that distinguishes the rosy flesh tones of the subject’s features and the worn material of her cap, The present painting seems to easily date to a time soon after the most significant moment in Ceruti’s career, when, around the mid-1730s, he sojourned in Padua (from 1736 onwards) and significantly began to assimilate a personal interpretation of Venetian modes of painting. This is most notable in the enrichment of his range of colour and the more ‘open’ application of paint. These stylistic traits are all clearly noticeable in his Paduan altarpieces and his works for private patrons which have been correctly associated with this period by Mina Gregori: for example the Giovane donna in the Zornmuseet at Mora (M. Gregori, ibid., p. 455, no. 139) in which we significantly re-encounter the same choices of palette and impasto as in the present work.

It is exactly during this period that Ceruti’s interpretations of low subjects tend to give way to a more open and welcoming tone. Whilst his earlier works always tended to foreground the bitterly undignified poverty of the lowest classes, his later works introduced a more relaxed and joyful approach to themes drawn from country life. For example, this is the case in the Giovane Contadina con fiasco di vino from the Suida Manning collection, New York (M. Gregori, ibid., p. 450, no. 119). The present painting of a Spinner, belongs, in the present authors opinion, in exactly the same position within the artist’s creative trajectory. Moreover, Ceruti had treated the same subject on several occasions prior to his sojourn in the Veneto (see for example the Filatrice and the Bambina con filatrice from the Avogardo cycle). Compared to these, in the present painting Ceruti treats the subject with ennobled spirit , with greater openness and a greater propensity to introduce anecdotal detail. This is demonstrated by the detailed description of the woman’s dress and the jewellery that she wears; she is decorously attired and wears an almost joyful expression on her face, which replaces the dusty rags previously depicted.

It should finally be noted that the dimensions of the present painting coincide almost exactly with those of the four paintings of Children which are now divided between the Cicogna collection, in Milan and London (54 x 42 cm; for the four canvases see: M. Gregori, ibid., p. 45o, nn. 117-118; F. Frangi ibid., p. 183). Significantly these dated to a time very close to that of the painting under discussion here, which is in the latter half of the 1730s.

25.04.2017 - 18:00

Estimate:
EUR 80,000.- to EUR 120,000.-

Giacomo Ceruti


(Milan 1698–1767)
A woman holding a spindle,
oil on canvas, 54 x 42 cm, framed

Provenance:
sale, Sotheby’s, London, 3 July 1996, lot 284 (as Giacomo Ceruti);
Private collection, Parma

Literature:
L. Anelli, Pietro Bellotti: da Venezia a Milano, in: A. Orlando (ed.), Pietro Bellotti e dintorni. Dipinti veneti e lombardi tra realtà e “genere” dalla collezione Koelliker, exhibition catalogue, Brescia 2007, p. 22, fig. 23 (as Pietro Bellotti);
N. Roio, in: E. Negro/N. Roio, On the Road 2011, exhibition catalogue, Berceto 2011, no. 18 (as Giacomo Ceruti)

We are grateful to Francesco Frangi for confirming the attribution and for his help in cataloguing the present painting.

The present painting, depicts a woman holding a spindle for spinning wool thread. The protagonist wears unusually refined attire, as demonstrated by her white cap, which is decorated with rose motifs and embellished with lace bordering, her earrings, necklace and the ring on her finger, as well as her white lace blouse over which she wears a bodice and a brown shawl.

Aside from the present work’s clear correspondence with the Milanese painter’s iconographic and typological repertoire, its attribution to Giacomo Ceruti is also strongly suggested by its stylistic traits. Especially by the sincere and immediate tone with which the protagonist is represented, and by the naturalistic intensity of the painting, which is especially appreciable in the rose-tones applied to describe the flesh tones, and in the exacting highlighting of luminous details of dress. The description of the woman’s features finds a persuasive counterpart in the Autoritratto in veste di Pellegrino in the collection of the Comune di Abano Terma, which is dated 1737 (see: M. Gregori Giacomo Ceruti Milan 1982, p. 450, n. 120). Here similarly beautiful passages of epistemic truthfulness predominate, see for example the way in which the eyelids are described: they are in everyway similarly distinguished in the present painting. Likewise the passage of the woman’s strong hand vigorously holding the spindle finds a counterpart in the Abano Self Portrait as a Pilgrim where the analytic description of the drawn and leathery skin of the hand stands out almost as a signature. Comparisons with other well-known half figures of low subjects by Ceruti are of equal significance, both on account of their stylistic resolution, and for the naturalistic ‘presence’ communicated by the figures in their execution. Among these we might list the Vecchia Contadina in a private collection at Nigoline di Corte Franca, the Mendicante in the Kunstmuseum, Goteborg and the Vecchio che chiede l’elemosina in a private collection (see: F. Frangi, in: Giacomo Cerutti. Il Pitocchetto exh. cat., Brescia – Milan 1987, pp. 178, 182, 183).

Due to its date of 1737, the Abano canvas provides the first important indication of the present painting’s proper chronological placement, which appears to be supported by further comparisons. Owing to the richness of the impasto that distinguishes the rosy flesh tones of the subject’s features and the worn material of her cap, The present painting seems to easily date to a time soon after the most significant moment in Ceruti’s career, when, around the mid-1730s, he sojourned in Padua (from 1736 onwards) and significantly began to assimilate a personal interpretation of Venetian modes of painting. This is most notable in the enrichment of his range of colour and the more ‘open’ application of paint. These stylistic traits are all clearly noticeable in his Paduan altarpieces and his works for private patrons which have been correctly associated with this period by Mina Gregori: for example the Giovane donna in the Zornmuseet at Mora (M. Gregori, ibid., p. 455, no. 139) in which we significantly re-encounter the same choices of palette and impasto as in the present work.

It is exactly during this period that Ceruti’s interpretations of low subjects tend to give way to a more open and welcoming tone. Whilst his earlier works always tended to foreground the bitterly undignified poverty of the lowest classes, his later works introduced a more relaxed and joyful approach to themes drawn from country life. For example, this is the case in the Giovane Contadina con fiasco di vino from the Suida Manning collection, New York (M. Gregori, ibid., p. 450, no. 119). The present painting of a Spinner, belongs, in the present authors opinion, in exactly the same position within the artist’s creative trajectory. Moreover, Ceruti had treated the same subject on several occasions prior to his sojourn in the Veneto (see for example the Filatrice and the Bambina con filatrice from the Avogardo cycle). Compared to these, in the present painting Ceruti treats the subject with ennobled spirit , with greater openness and a greater propensity to introduce anecdotal detail. This is demonstrated by the detailed description of the woman’s dress and the jewellery that she wears; she is decorously attired and wears an almost joyful expression on her face, which replaces the dusty rags previously depicted.

It should finally be noted that the dimensions of the present painting coincide almost exactly with those of the four paintings of Children which are now divided between the Cicogna collection, in Milan and London (54 x 42 cm; for the four canvases see: M. Gregori, ibid., p. 45o, nn. 117-118; F. Frangi ibid., p. 183). Significantly these dated to a time very close to that of the painting under discussion here, which is in the latter half of the 1730s.


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Auction: Old Master Paintings
Date: 25.04.2017 - 18:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 15.04. - 25.04.2017