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Lot No. 95


Giovanni Paolo Panini


(Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome)
Alexander the Great at the Tomb of Achilles,
oil on canvas, 74.5 x 61 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private European collection

The present painting corresponds in size, scale and most details with another work by Panini conserved in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (73.3 x 65 cm, inv. no. 37.510). Another similar composition, with minor variations, is conserved in the Accademia di San Luca, Rome (66 x 49 cm, inv. no. 314) and was accepted as a reception piece with which Panini was nominated as an academician.

The scene is situated in the ancient polis of Achilleion, as is suggested by the elaborate capriccio of both Roman ruins and oriental structures in the background. Standing in the middle of the composition is Alexander the Great (356–323 BC) dressed in military garments. According to the myth, Alexander ordered the tomb of Achilles to be opened, to pay homage to the hero whom he considered to be his legendary predecessor. The figures appear close in quality to the version conserved in Accademia di San Luca, which suggests that the present painting should be dated around 1719.

Trained in Piacenza, Panini earned a reputation in Rome first as a painter of vedute and capricci. Much of his production is centred around architecture. Panini developed a characteristic, but versatile style, which allowed him to harmonise architecture with landscape and figures. In the present painting it is possible to observe how the artist attended to each element with a different approach, reserving detailed brushwork for the architecture, fine quick strokes for the vegetation, and modeled construction of the figures. While the background characters portrayed in casual positions are reminiscent of a genre scene, the two soldiers at the front show accurate rendering of anatomy, adding solemnity and historical character to the composition. Panini brings all of these elements together to convey a coherent narrative.

This composition is likely to have served for other versions, two of which are held in private collections (see F. Arisi, Gian Paolo Panini e i fasti della Roma del ’700, Rome 1986, pp. 284, cat. 124; 361, cat. 259).

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

mark.macdonnell@dorotheum.at

10.11.2021 - 16:00

Realized price: **
EUR 43,520.-
Estimate:
EUR 20,000.- to EUR 30,000.-

Giovanni Paolo Panini


(Piacenza 1691–1765 Rome)
Alexander the Great at the Tomb of Achilles,
oil on canvas, 74.5 x 61 cm, framed

Provenance:
Private European collection

The present painting corresponds in size, scale and most details with another work by Panini conserved in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (73.3 x 65 cm, inv. no. 37.510). Another similar composition, with minor variations, is conserved in the Accademia di San Luca, Rome (66 x 49 cm, inv. no. 314) and was accepted as a reception piece with which Panini was nominated as an academician.

The scene is situated in the ancient polis of Achilleion, as is suggested by the elaborate capriccio of both Roman ruins and oriental structures in the background. Standing in the middle of the composition is Alexander the Great (356–323 BC) dressed in military garments. According to the myth, Alexander ordered the tomb of Achilles to be opened, to pay homage to the hero whom he considered to be his legendary predecessor. The figures appear close in quality to the version conserved in Accademia di San Luca, which suggests that the present painting should be dated around 1719.

Trained in Piacenza, Panini earned a reputation in Rome first as a painter of vedute and capricci. Much of his production is centred around architecture. Panini developed a characteristic, but versatile style, which allowed him to harmonise architecture with landscape and figures. In the present painting it is possible to observe how the artist attended to each element with a different approach, reserving detailed brushwork for the architecture, fine quick strokes for the vegetation, and modeled construction of the figures. While the background characters portrayed in casual positions are reminiscent of a genre scene, the two soldiers at the front show accurate rendering of anatomy, adding solemnity and historical character to the composition. Panini brings all of these elements together to convey a coherent narrative.

This composition is likely to have served for other versions, two of which are held in private collections (see F. Arisi, Gian Paolo Panini e i fasti della Roma del ’700, Rome 1986, pp. 284, cat. 124; 361, cat. 259).

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
Date: 10.11.2021 - 16:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 29.10. - 10.11.2021


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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