Lot No. 38


Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian and Studio


Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian and Studio - Old Master Paintings

(Pieve di Cadore, circa 1485/90–1576 Venice)
The Penitent Magdalen,
Inscribed lower centre left: TICIANUS
oil on canvas, 100.5 x 80.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private European collection
We are grateful to Paul Joannides for examining the present painting in the original and for his help in cataloguing. The present work appears to be unpublished.

Titian produced many versions of the Penitent Magdalen and his renderings can be divided into two basic types. The first series, probably executed between circa 1530 and circa 1540 shows her entirely nude, covered by abundant hair; she is seen in a rocky grotto; whether or not it is night is hard to say but the sky is certainly very dark; the other type was probably invented circa 1550; in this she is largely draped, with neither of her breasts revealed, and the grotto she is placed in is less oppressive and opens up on the right side to a landscape, which, if not always cultivated, is relatively hospitable. There are many more versions of the second type than the first type and Titian seems to have continued to produce them for over a quarter of a century - the last one to be documented dates from 1573.

The present Penitent Magdalen is shorter than any other version of the second type - the next tallest is the ex-Candiani one - and it does not appear to have been cut down. The most obvious difference from any other version of the second type is that the book is not supported on a skull and although it is clear from the x-ray that there has been some manipulation in this area, it cannot be said with certainty that a skull was planned and then omitted; nevertheless it is clear that Titian did make changes in this area and this would be understandable if he were trying to work out the best way of incorporating such a change. The present canvas is also narrower than that of any other version of the second type and Titian seems to have taken account of this by giving the vase on the left an elongated and tapering form, different from that of any other version.

The canvas appears to be much broader and coarser in weave than that of any other version of the Penitent Magdalen by Titian, and the handling is correspondingly looser and more impasted; as a painting on a relatively small scale executed on a rough canvas such as one might have expected to be used instead for a large altarpiece, this Magdalen is relatively experimental in Titian’s work. The support, however, is precisely comparable to that of the Portrait of a Bearded Man in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Inv. 76 traditionally, but wrongly identified, as of Roberto Strozzi, which is generally dated about 1560, the approximate date Joannides has suggested for the present Magdalen. In the Kunsthistorisches portrait the grain of the canvas appears to be used vertically; here, very surprisingly, it is used horizontally. Since the height of the present painting is about equivalent to the width of the Kunsthistorisches portrait, it is possible that both canvases originated from the same bolt, although a technical examination would be necessary to prove or disprove such an hypothesis.

Few of Titian’s Penitent Magdalens can be connected with particular commissions and the present picture is no exception. Joannides has suggested that this Penitent Magdalen may be an entirely autograph work although it has suffered, and a reading of the Saint’s features is somewhat compromised by restoration. Of course, in any work of this kind, of which Titian and his studio produced multiples, it cannot be excluded that there is studio intervention.

The inscription or signature, which seems to use the spelling TICIANUS– a form abandoned by Titian in circa 1534 - rather than TITIANUS, may be a result of inaccurate restoration - unless one were to argue it is an inscription by someone else, and not a signature.

The landscape is rather different from that of any other version, and Joannides has suggested that it comes just after the relatively austere version sent to Philip II late in 1561, which is lost but known from copies, and a little before the freer and richer ex-Candiani painting, which can be dated with some confidence to circa 1563-65 and which seems to initiate a more voluptuous treatment of the subject. The arrangement of the stripes at the lower left, incidentally, comes quite close to that of the lost painting for Philip.

The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.

We are grateful to Paul Joannides for his help in cataloguing the present painting.

Additional image
Infrared reflectograph
The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.
© ]a[ NTK 2015 Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. M. Schreiner

Provenance:
Private European collection
We are grateful to Paul Joannides for examining the present painting in the original and for his help in cataloguing. The present work appears to be unpublished.

Titian produced many versions of the Penitent Magdalen and his renderings can be divided into two basic types. The first series, probably executed between circa 1530 and circa 1540 shows her entirely nude, covered by abundant hair; she is seen in a rocky grotto; whether or not it is night is hard to say but the sky is certainly very dark; the other type was probably invented circa 1550; in this she is largely draped, with neither of her breasts revealed, and the grotto she is placed in is less oppressive and opens up on the right side to a landscape, which, if not always cultivated, is relatively hospitable. There are many more versions of the second type than the first type and Titian seems to have continued to produce them for over a quarter of a century - the last one to be documented dates from 1573.

The present Penitent Magdalen is shorter than any other version of the second type - the next tallest is the ex-Candiani one - and it does not appear to have been cut down. The most obvious difference from any other version of the second type is that the book is not supported on a skull and although it is clear from the x-ray that there has been some manipulation in this area, it cannot be said with certainty that a skull was planned and then omitted; nevertheless it is clear that Titian did make changes in this area and this would be understandable if he were trying to work out the best way of incorporating such a change. The present canvas is also narrower than that of any other version of the second type and Titian seems to have taken account of this by giving the vase on the left an elongated and tapering form, different from that of any other version.

The canvas appears to be much broader and coarser in weave than that of any other version of the Penitent Magdalen by Titian, and the handling is correspondingly looser and more impasted; as a painting on a relatively small scale executed on a rough canvas such as one might have expected to be used for instead a large altarpiece, this Magdalen is relatively experimental in Titian’s work. The support, however, is precisely comparable to that of the Portrait of a Bearded Man in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Inv. 76 traditionally, but wrongly identified, as of Roberto Strozzi, which is generally dated about 1560, the approximate date Joannides has suggested for the present Magdalen. In the Kunsthistorisches portrait the grain of the canvas appears to be used vertically; here, very surprisingly, it is used horizontally. Since the height of the present painting is about equivalent to the width of the Kunsthistorisches portrait, it is possible that both canvases originated from the same bolt, although a technical examination would be necessary to prove or disprove such an hypothesis.

Few of Titian’s Penitent Magdalens can be connected with particular commissions and the present picture is no exception. Joannides has suggested that this Penitent Magdalen may be an entirely autograph work although it has suffered, and a reading of the Saint’s features is somewhat compromised by restoration. Of course, in any work of this kind, of which Titan and his studio produced multiples, it cannot be excluded that there is studio intervention.

The inscription or signature, which seems to use the spelling TICIANUS– a form abandoned by Titian in circa 1534 - rather than TITIANUS, may be a result of inaccurate restoration - unless one were to argue it is an inscription by someone else, and not a signature.

The landscape is rather different from that of any other version, and Joannides has suggested that it comes just after the relatively austere version sent to Philip II late in 1561, which is lost but known from copies, and a little before the freer and richer ex-Candiani painting, which can be dated with some confidence to circa 1563-65 and which seems to initiate a more voluptuous treatment of the subject. The arrangement of the stripes at the lower left, incidentally, comes quite close to that of the lost painting for Philip.

The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.

We are grateful to Paul Joannides for his help in cataloguing the present painting.

Additional image
Infrared reflectograph
The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.
© ]a[ NTK 2015 Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. M. Schreiner

20.10.2015 - 18:00

Realized price: **
EUR 176,600.-
Estimate:
EUR 200,000.- to EUR 300,000.-

Tiziano Vecellio, called Titian and Studio


(Pieve di Cadore, circa 1485/90–1576 Venice)
The Penitent Magdalen,
Inscribed lower centre left: TICIANUS
oil on canvas, 100.5 x 80.5 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private European collection
We are grateful to Paul Joannides for examining the present painting in the original and for his help in cataloguing. The present work appears to be unpublished.

Titian produced many versions of the Penitent Magdalen and his renderings can be divided into two basic types. The first series, probably executed between circa 1530 and circa 1540 shows her entirely nude, covered by abundant hair; she is seen in a rocky grotto; whether or not it is night is hard to say but the sky is certainly very dark; the other type was probably invented circa 1550; in this she is largely draped, with neither of her breasts revealed, and the grotto she is placed in is less oppressive and opens up on the right side to a landscape, which, if not always cultivated, is relatively hospitable. There are many more versions of the second type than the first type and Titian seems to have continued to produce them for over a quarter of a century - the last one to be documented dates from 1573.

The present Penitent Magdalen is shorter than any other version of the second type - the next tallest is the ex-Candiani one - and it does not appear to have been cut down. The most obvious difference from any other version of the second type is that the book is not supported on a skull and although it is clear from the x-ray that there has been some manipulation in this area, it cannot be said with certainty that a skull was planned and then omitted; nevertheless it is clear that Titian did make changes in this area and this would be understandable if he were trying to work out the best way of incorporating such a change. The present canvas is also narrower than that of any other version of the second type and Titian seems to have taken account of this by giving the vase on the left an elongated and tapering form, different from that of any other version.

The canvas appears to be much broader and coarser in weave than that of any other version of the Penitent Magdalen by Titian, and the handling is correspondingly looser and more impasted; as a painting on a relatively small scale executed on a rough canvas such as one might have expected to be used instead for a large altarpiece, this Magdalen is relatively experimental in Titian’s work. The support, however, is precisely comparable to that of the Portrait of a Bearded Man in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Inv. 76 traditionally, but wrongly identified, as of Roberto Strozzi, which is generally dated about 1560, the approximate date Joannides has suggested for the present Magdalen. In the Kunsthistorisches portrait the grain of the canvas appears to be used vertically; here, very surprisingly, it is used horizontally. Since the height of the present painting is about equivalent to the width of the Kunsthistorisches portrait, it is possible that both canvases originated from the same bolt, although a technical examination would be necessary to prove or disprove such an hypothesis.

Few of Titian’s Penitent Magdalens can be connected with particular commissions and the present picture is no exception. Joannides has suggested that this Penitent Magdalen may be an entirely autograph work although it has suffered, and a reading of the Saint’s features is somewhat compromised by restoration. Of course, in any work of this kind, of which Titian and his studio produced multiples, it cannot be excluded that there is studio intervention.

The inscription or signature, which seems to use the spelling TICIANUS– a form abandoned by Titian in circa 1534 - rather than TITIANUS, may be a result of inaccurate restoration - unless one were to argue it is an inscription by someone else, and not a signature.

The landscape is rather different from that of any other version, and Joannides has suggested that it comes just after the relatively austere version sent to Philip II late in 1561, which is lost but known from copies, and a little before the freer and richer ex-Candiani painting, which can be dated with some confidence to circa 1563-65 and which seems to initiate a more voluptuous treatment of the subject. The arrangement of the stripes at the lower left, incidentally, comes quite close to that of the lost painting for Philip.

The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.

We are grateful to Paul Joannides for his help in cataloguing the present painting.

Additional image
Infrared reflectograph
The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.
© ]a[ NTK 2015 Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. M. Schreiner

Provenance:
Private European collection
We are grateful to Paul Joannides for examining the present painting in the original and for his help in cataloguing. The present work appears to be unpublished.

Titian produced many versions of the Penitent Magdalen and his renderings can be divided into two basic types. The first series, probably executed between circa 1530 and circa 1540 shows her entirely nude, covered by abundant hair; she is seen in a rocky grotto; whether or not it is night is hard to say but the sky is certainly very dark; the other type was probably invented circa 1550; in this she is largely draped, with neither of her breasts revealed, and the grotto she is placed in is less oppressive and opens up on the right side to a landscape, which, if not always cultivated, is relatively hospitable. There are many more versions of the second type than the first type and Titian seems to have continued to produce them for over a quarter of a century - the last one to be documented dates from 1573.

The present Penitent Magdalen is shorter than any other version of the second type - the next tallest is the ex-Candiani one - and it does not appear to have been cut down. The most obvious difference from any other version of the second type is that the book is not supported on a skull and although it is clear from the x-ray that there has been some manipulation in this area, it cannot be said with certainty that a skull was planned and then omitted; nevertheless it is clear that Titian did make changes in this area and this would be understandable if he were trying to work out the best way of incorporating such a change. The present canvas is also narrower than that of any other version of the second type and Titian seems to have taken account of this by giving the vase on the left an elongated and tapering form, different from that of any other version.

The canvas appears to be much broader and coarser in weave than that of any other version of the Penitent Magdalen by Titian, and the handling is correspondingly looser and more impasted; as a painting on a relatively small scale executed on a rough canvas such as one might have expected to be used for instead a large altarpiece, this Magdalen is relatively experimental in Titian’s work. The support, however, is precisely comparable to that of the Portrait of a Bearded Man in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Inv. 76 traditionally, but wrongly identified, as of Roberto Strozzi, which is generally dated about 1560, the approximate date Joannides has suggested for the present Magdalen. In the Kunsthistorisches portrait the grain of the canvas appears to be used vertically; here, very surprisingly, it is used horizontally. Since the height of the present painting is about equivalent to the width of the Kunsthistorisches portrait, it is possible that both canvases originated from the same bolt, although a technical examination would be necessary to prove or disprove such an hypothesis.

Few of Titian’s Penitent Magdalens can be connected with particular commissions and the present picture is no exception. Joannides has suggested that this Penitent Magdalen may be an entirely autograph work although it has suffered, and a reading of the Saint’s features is somewhat compromised by restoration. Of course, in any work of this kind, of which Titan and his studio produced multiples, it cannot be excluded that there is studio intervention.

The inscription or signature, which seems to use the spelling TICIANUS– a form abandoned by Titian in circa 1534 - rather than TITIANUS, may be a result of inaccurate restoration - unless one were to argue it is an inscription by someone else, and not a signature.

The landscape is rather different from that of any other version, and Joannides has suggested that it comes just after the relatively austere version sent to Philip II late in 1561, which is lost but known from copies, and a little before the freer and richer ex-Candiani painting, which can be dated with some confidence to circa 1563-65 and which seems to initiate a more voluptuous treatment of the subject. The arrangement of the stripes at the lower left, incidentally, comes quite close to that of the lost painting for Philip.

The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.

We are grateful to Paul Joannides for his help in cataloguing the present painting.

Additional image
Infrared reflectograph
The infrared image shows that there is a minor pentiment in the forefinger of the Saint’s right hand, which was initially attempted in a slightly different position. There also seems to be a slight lack of resolution in the relation of the right hand and the drapery. The lilac colour of the binding on the book also differs from that of any other version. There appears to be a dark shadow to the viewer’s right of the Saint’s head; this does not show up in technical examination, and this area might have been underpainted in some medium unresponsive either to x-ray or to infra-red: it may be that Titian thought of extending the cliff behind the Magdalen further to the right, as in the Naples version of 1567.
© ]a[ NTK 2015 Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. M. Schreiner


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Auction: Old Master Paintings
Date: 20.10.2015 - 18:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 10.10. - 20.10.2015


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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