Lot No. 571


Pietro della Vecchia


Pietro della Vecchia - Old Master Paintings

(Venice or Vicenza, 1602/03–1678 Venice)
Sisyphus,
oil on canvas, 148.5 x 180 cm, unframed

We are grateful to Professor Bernard Aikema for confirming the attribution after examining the present painting in the original.

This monumental and impressive picture shows a muscular nude male figure toiling with a heavy stone he evidently tries to lift from the ground. The strong chiaroscuro effects as well as the subject matter relate to the art of the so-called tenebrosi, a group of painters active in Venice in the second half of the 17th Century. The main representatives are Giambattista Langetti, Johann Karl Loth, and Antonio Zanchi.

The painting shows the king Sisyphus, who was condemned by Zeus to carry a heavy boulder uphill; however the stone would fall from his hands every time he approached the summit, and so he became fated to repeat this hopeless task perpetually. This dramatic theme was painted by Antonio Zanchi in a picture now in The Hague, which is evidently based on Titian’s famous, earlier rendering of the theme for Mary of Hungary’s seat of Binche, near Brussels. Contrary to Titian and Zanchi, who depicted the tragic hero carrying the stone on his shoulder, the artist here chose the moment Sisyphus is beginning his never-ending ordeal by lifting the boulder with pain and fatigue.

Pietro della Vecchia´s long career is characterized by an almost chameleonic variety of artistic styles and influences however his manner is clearly recognizable from his expressive modes and certain details, such as the almost claw-like hands and the characteristic facial expression apparent in this work. Aikema has suggested that due to its size the present painting was probably destined to decorate the central hall (portego) of a Venetian palazzo and he has dated the work to the early 1660s.

We are grateful to Professor Bernard Aikema for his help in cataloguing the present lot.

We are grateful to Professor Bernard Aikema for confirming the attribution after examining the present painting in the original.

This monumental and impressive picture shows a muscular nude male figure toiling with a heavy stone he evidently tries

15.10.2013 - 18:00

Realized price: **
EUR 24,700.-
Estimate:
EUR 20,000.- to EUR 30,000.-

Pietro della Vecchia


(Venice or Vicenza, 1602/03–1678 Venice)
Sisyphus,
oil on canvas, 148.5 x 180 cm, unframed

We are grateful to Professor Bernard Aikema for confirming the attribution after examining the present painting in the original.

This monumental and impressive picture shows a muscular nude male figure toiling with a heavy stone he evidently tries to lift from the ground. The strong chiaroscuro effects as well as the subject matter relate to the art of the so-called tenebrosi, a group of painters active in Venice in the second half of the 17th Century. The main representatives are Giambattista Langetti, Johann Karl Loth, and Antonio Zanchi.

The painting shows the king Sisyphus, who was condemned by Zeus to carry a heavy boulder uphill; however the stone would fall from his hands every time he approached the summit, and so he became fated to repeat this hopeless task perpetually. This dramatic theme was painted by Antonio Zanchi in a picture now in The Hague, which is evidently based on Titian’s famous, earlier rendering of the theme for Mary of Hungary’s seat of Binche, near Brussels. Contrary to Titian and Zanchi, who depicted the tragic hero carrying the stone on his shoulder, the artist here chose the moment Sisyphus is beginning his never-ending ordeal by lifting the boulder with pain and fatigue.

Pietro della Vecchia´s long career is characterized by an almost chameleonic variety of artistic styles and influences however his manner is clearly recognizable from his expressive modes and certain details, such as the almost claw-like hands and the characteristic facial expression apparent in this work. Aikema has suggested that due to its size the present painting was probably destined to decorate the central hall (portego) of a Venetian palazzo and he has dated the work to the early 1660s.

We are grateful to Professor Bernard Aikema for his help in cataloguing the present lot.

We are grateful to Professor Bernard Aikema for confirming the attribution after examining the present painting in the original.

This monumental and impressive picture shows a muscular nude male figure toiling with a heavy stone he evidently tries


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: Old Master Paintings
Date: 15.10.2013 - 18:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 05.10. - 15.10.2013


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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