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Lot No. 46


Carlo Saraceni and Adam Elsheimer


(Venice 1585–1625)
(Frankfurt-am-Main 1578–1610 Rome)
The Rest during the flight into Egypt, with a Deacon and three Angels,
oil on alabaster laid down on slate, 38 x 33 cm, framed

Provenance:
sale, anonymous auction house, Hamburg, 1787, lot 231 (on marble, sold for 10 marks, as Carolus Sarasennus Venetiano);
where acquired by François Didier Bertheau, Hamburg (1734–1826);
David C. B. Hausmann collection, Hanover (1784–1873);
from whom acquired by King George V of Hanover (1819–1878) in 1857 (sold for 48,000 thaler);
on loan to the Provinzialmuseum, Hanover, from 1893 until 1925, cat. no. 133 and then cat. no. 106;
sale ‘Königliche Sammlung Hannover. Fideikommiss des Hauses Braunschweig-Lüneburg‘, Paul Cassirer/Hugo Helbing, Berlin, 27 April 1926, lot 48;
Private Collection, Germany;
where acquired by the present owner

Literature:
Verzeichniss von Seiner Majestät dem Könige angekeuften Hausmann’schen Gemälde-Sammlung in Hannover, Hanover 1857, no. 166 (as Carlo Saraceno);
Katalog der zum Ressort der Königlichen Verwaltungs-Kommission gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden, Skulpturen und Altertümern im Provinzial-Museumsgebäude an der Prinzenstraße Nr. 4 zu Hannover, Hanover 1891, p. 103, no. 133 (as Nach Adam Elsheimer);
J. Reimers, Katalog der zur Fideikommiss-Galerie des Gesamthauses Braunschweig und Lüneburg gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden und Skulpturen im Provinzial-Museum zu Hannover, Hanover 1905, p. 50, cat. no. 106, not illustrated (as ‘Kopie nach Elsheimer’, on marble);
H. Voss, Italienische Gemälde des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts in der Galerie des Kunsthistorischen Hofmuseums zu Wien, Leipzig 1912, vol. 23, p. 62;
H. Voss, Die Malerei des Barock in Rom, Berlin 1925, p. 449, not illustrated (under ‘Repliken’);
A. Porcella, Carlo Saraceni, Venice 1928, p. 399, not illustrated (as a copy);
H. Weizsäcker, Adam Elsheimer, der Maler von Frankfurt, Berlin 1952, vol. II, p. 117, cited under cat. no. 146, not illustrated (under ‘Repliken oder Kopien’);
A. Moir, The Italian followers of Caravaggio, Cambridge 1967, vol. 2, p. 101, cat. no. 20.d, not illustrated (as a copy, on marble);
A. Ottani Cavina, Carlo Saraceni, Milan 1968, pp. 100-102, cat. no. 16, not illustrated (under copies, location unknown, on marble);
X. F. Salomon, in: Carlo Saraceni (1579–1620). Un Veneziano tra Roma e l’Europa, exhibition catalogue, ed. by. M. G. Aurigemma, Rome 2013, p. 222, not illustrated (under copies, on marble)
R. Lattuada, Un’ipotesi di collaborazione tra Carlo Saraceni e Adam Elsheimer: il Riposo nella Fuga in Egitto su alabastro, in: Valori Tattili, no. 15 (forthcoming publication)

We are grateful to Riccardo Lattuada and Maria Giulia Aurigemma for independently suggesting the attribution after examining the present painting in the original and for their help in cataloguing this lot.

The present painting, although known to scholars, appears to have been largely judged on the basis of photographs and its significant 19th century provenance ignored. Only after examination in the original has this painting been recognised as an important addition to the understanding of the working practice of Carlo Saraceni and Adam Elsheimer.

This painting is the only known example of a work by Carlo Saraceni on an alabaster support. The composition relates to The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Carlo Saraceni in the Sacro Eremo Tuscolano in Monte Porzio Catone (oil on canvas, 180 x 125 cm, see fig. 1) executed between 1610 and 1612, which became known due to its circulation in a print by Jean Le Clerc (see fig. 2). However, although the present painting shows many compositional similarities to the Monte Porzio Catone painting, there are significant variations.

In this painting on alabaster Saraceni interprets the composition in an innovative fashion. Indeed, it would appear that this work is a prima idea, an independent composition that has elements of the Monte Porzio Catone composition, but here arranged to achieve a different solution, with some brilliant passages. There are many differences between the two works, notably in the head of the Virgin and the landscape’s horizon which is here lowered and limited, to simply suggest a hill with a few houses and a bush in the distance, all described in refined blue-green touches of colour that serve to bring the palm tree forward, set against the pale ground.

Above all, however, the changed economy of the work’s colour palette, signalled by the figure of the singing deacon, and the intensely concentrated management of some of the media, which in parts is less fluid than that of Saraceni, suggest that another artist, similar to Saraceni, but with a strong artistic personality of his own, also contributed to the creation of this work.

When elements of this painting are compared to the figure of the deacon in the Stoning of Saint Stephen in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (see fig. 4), it is clear that the hand of Adam Elsheimer is also present. Therefore this work on alabaster is a collaborative painting executed by Adam Elsheimer and Carlo Saraceni.

The identity of Elsheimer’s hand in the present work on alabaster can be specifically identified in the passages describing the angels and the head of the Virgin, as well as in the robes of the deacon reading music. Additionally, Lattuada compares the deacon in the present painting to the two figures in studies by Elsheimer conserved in the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin (see fig. 3).

In addition to the deacon’s robe – the dalmatica – an intervention by Elsheimer is supported by the way the work’s decorative quality is intensified which is typical of the German painter. Significantly the Virgin, hand in this composition does not pick up the abundant white draperies in the basket, so as not to interrupt the decorative patterning of the deacon’s robe.

The practice of two artists sharing work on a small easel painting was rare among Italian painters, however such specialist collaborations were part of the typical working practice of Northern European painters. Indeed, in this collaboration, through their appreciation of the shared culture that permeates this painting, the two artists enthusiastically achieved a singular work.

Art historians have noted a close stylistic relationship between Carlo Saraceni’s and Adam Elsheimer’s works. It is believed that the two artists came into contact with each other when they were both in Venice in the 1590s, before arriving in Rome (see M. G. Aurigemma, Carlo Saraceni. Un veneziano tra Roma e l’Europa [1579–1620], exhibition catalogue, Rome 2013, pp.13–16; 184–189).

A possible collaboration between Saraceni and Elsheimer has also been previously suggested by scholars in Saraceni’s celebrated Metamorphosis series conserved in Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, however, no documentary confirmation of a collaboration has so far been identified.

The compositional balance of the scene in the present painting is created by the landscape, brought into the foreground by the presence of the palm tree, which is in axial alignment with the figure of the Virgin and is countered on the left by the three angels, one of whom wears the robes of a deacon. The whole is additionally tied together by the curve of Saint Joseph’s body, which forming a diagonal, intersects the contrary arc following the wing of one of the angels; similarly, a line of tension is drawn between the expressive head of the donkey on the right and the white linens at lower left which the Virgin is about to pick up.

Elsheimer was known for perfectionist attention to detail which resulted in a small total output, despite the small size of all his pictures. In all about forty paintings are now generally agreed to be by him. His work was highly regarded for its quality and he had a clear influence on other Northern European artists who were in Rome such as Paul Bril, Jan Pynas, Leonaert Bramer and Pieter Lastman, later Rembrandt’s master. Rubens, who owned at least four of his works, knew Elsheimer in Rome, and praised him highly in a letter after his death.

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

mark.macdonnell@dorotheum.at

08.06.2021 - 16:00

Realized price: **
EUR 75,300.-
Estimate:
EUR 80,000.- to EUR 120,000.-

Carlo Saraceni and Adam Elsheimer


(Venice 1585–1625)
(Frankfurt-am-Main 1578–1610 Rome)
The Rest during the flight into Egypt, with a Deacon and three Angels,
oil on alabaster laid down on slate, 38 x 33 cm, framed

Provenance:
sale, anonymous auction house, Hamburg, 1787, lot 231 (on marble, sold for 10 marks, as Carolus Sarasennus Venetiano);
where acquired by François Didier Bertheau, Hamburg (1734–1826);
David C. B. Hausmann collection, Hanover (1784–1873);
from whom acquired by King George V of Hanover (1819–1878) in 1857 (sold for 48,000 thaler);
on loan to the Provinzialmuseum, Hanover, from 1893 until 1925, cat. no. 133 and then cat. no. 106;
sale ‘Königliche Sammlung Hannover. Fideikommiss des Hauses Braunschweig-Lüneburg‘, Paul Cassirer/Hugo Helbing, Berlin, 27 April 1926, lot 48;
Private Collection, Germany;
where acquired by the present owner

Literature:
Verzeichniss von Seiner Majestät dem Könige angekeuften Hausmann’schen Gemälde-Sammlung in Hannover, Hanover 1857, no. 166 (as Carlo Saraceno);
Katalog der zum Ressort der Königlichen Verwaltungs-Kommission gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden, Skulpturen und Altertümern im Provinzial-Museumsgebäude an der Prinzenstraße Nr. 4 zu Hannover, Hanover 1891, p. 103, no. 133 (as Nach Adam Elsheimer);
J. Reimers, Katalog der zur Fideikommiss-Galerie des Gesamthauses Braunschweig und Lüneburg gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden und Skulpturen im Provinzial-Museum zu Hannover, Hanover 1905, p. 50, cat. no. 106, not illustrated (as ‘Kopie nach Elsheimer’, on marble);
H. Voss, Italienische Gemälde des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts in der Galerie des Kunsthistorischen Hofmuseums zu Wien, Leipzig 1912, vol. 23, p. 62;
H. Voss, Die Malerei des Barock in Rom, Berlin 1925, p. 449, not illustrated (under ‘Repliken’);
A. Porcella, Carlo Saraceni, Venice 1928, p. 399, not illustrated (as a copy);
H. Weizsäcker, Adam Elsheimer, der Maler von Frankfurt, Berlin 1952, vol. II, p. 117, cited under cat. no. 146, not illustrated (under ‘Repliken oder Kopien’);
A. Moir, The Italian followers of Caravaggio, Cambridge 1967, vol. 2, p. 101, cat. no. 20.d, not illustrated (as a copy, on marble);
A. Ottani Cavina, Carlo Saraceni, Milan 1968, pp. 100-102, cat. no. 16, not illustrated (under copies, location unknown, on marble);
X. F. Salomon, in: Carlo Saraceni (1579–1620). Un Veneziano tra Roma e l’Europa, exhibition catalogue, ed. by. M. G. Aurigemma, Rome 2013, p. 222, not illustrated (under copies, on marble)
R. Lattuada, Un’ipotesi di collaborazione tra Carlo Saraceni e Adam Elsheimer: il Riposo nella Fuga in Egitto su alabastro, in: Valori Tattili, no. 15 (forthcoming publication)

We are grateful to Riccardo Lattuada and Maria Giulia Aurigemma for independently suggesting the attribution after examining the present painting in the original and for their help in cataloguing this lot.

The present painting, although known to scholars, appears to have been largely judged on the basis of photographs and its significant 19th century provenance ignored. Only after examination in the original has this painting been recognised as an important addition to the understanding of the working practice of Carlo Saraceni and Adam Elsheimer.

This painting is the only known example of a work by Carlo Saraceni on an alabaster support. The composition relates to The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Carlo Saraceni in the Sacro Eremo Tuscolano in Monte Porzio Catone (oil on canvas, 180 x 125 cm, see fig. 1) executed between 1610 and 1612, which became known due to its circulation in a print by Jean Le Clerc (see fig. 2). However, although the present painting shows many compositional similarities to the Monte Porzio Catone painting, there are significant variations.

In this painting on alabaster Saraceni interprets the composition in an innovative fashion. Indeed, it would appear that this work is a prima idea, an independent composition that has elements of the Monte Porzio Catone composition, but here arranged to achieve a different solution, with some brilliant passages. There are many differences between the two works, notably in the head of the Virgin and the landscape’s horizon which is here lowered and limited, to simply suggest a hill with a few houses and a bush in the distance, all described in refined blue-green touches of colour that serve to bring the palm tree forward, set against the pale ground.

Above all, however, the changed economy of the work’s colour palette, signalled by the figure of the singing deacon, and the intensely concentrated management of some of the media, which in parts is less fluid than that of Saraceni, suggest that another artist, similar to Saraceni, but with a strong artistic personality of his own, also contributed to the creation of this work.

When elements of this painting are compared to the figure of the deacon in the Stoning of Saint Stephen in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (see fig. 4), it is clear that the hand of Adam Elsheimer is also present. Therefore this work on alabaster is a collaborative painting executed by Adam Elsheimer and Carlo Saraceni.

The identity of Elsheimer’s hand in the present work on alabaster can be specifically identified in the passages describing the angels and the head of the Virgin, as well as in the robes of the deacon reading music. Additionally, Lattuada compares the deacon in the present painting to the two figures in studies by Elsheimer conserved in the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin (see fig. 3).

In addition to the deacon’s robe – the dalmatica – an intervention by Elsheimer is supported by the way the work’s decorative quality is intensified which is typical of the German painter. Significantly the Virgin, hand in this composition does not pick up the abundant white draperies in the basket, so as not to interrupt the decorative patterning of the deacon’s robe.

The practice of two artists sharing work on a small easel painting was rare among Italian painters, however such specialist collaborations were part of the typical working practice of Northern European painters. Indeed, in this collaboration, through their appreciation of the shared culture that permeates this painting, the two artists enthusiastically achieved a singular work.

Art historians have noted a close stylistic relationship between Carlo Saraceni’s and Adam Elsheimer’s works. It is believed that the two artists came into contact with each other when they were both in Venice in the 1590s, before arriving in Rome (see M. G. Aurigemma, Carlo Saraceni. Un veneziano tra Roma e l’Europa [1579–1620], exhibition catalogue, Rome 2013, pp.13–16; 184–189).

A possible collaboration between Saraceni and Elsheimer has also been previously suggested by scholars in Saraceni’s celebrated Metamorphosis series conserved in Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, however, no documentary confirmation of a collaboration has so far been identified.

The compositional balance of the scene in the present painting is created by the landscape, brought into the foreground by the presence of the palm tree, which is in axial alignment with the figure of the Virgin and is countered on the left by the three angels, one of whom wears the robes of a deacon. The whole is additionally tied together by the curve of Saint Joseph’s body, which forming a diagonal, intersects the contrary arc following the wing of one of the angels; similarly, a line of tension is drawn between the expressive head of the donkey on the right and the white linens at lower left which the Virgin is about to pick up.

Elsheimer was known for perfectionist attention to detail which resulted in a small total output, despite the small size of all his pictures. In all about forty paintings are now generally agreed to be by him. His work was highly regarded for its quality and he had a clear influence on other Northern European artists who were in Rome such as Paul Bril, Jan Pynas, Leonaert Bramer and Pieter Lastman, later Rembrandt’s master. Rubens, who owned at least four of his works, knew Elsheimer in Rome, and praised him highly in a letter after his death.

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

mark.macdonnell@dorotheum.at


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

+43 1 515 60 403
Auction: Old Master Paintings I
Date: 08.06.2021 - 16:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 29.05. - 08.06.2021


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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