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Lotto No. 114 -


Pietro Benvenuti


(Arezzo 1769–1844 Florence)
The Holy Family,
signed and indistinctly dated (on the belt): PIERO. BENVENUTI 18(?),
oil on canvas, 98 x 72 cm, framed

Provenance:
commissioned by Angelo Maria Majola, Florence;
art market, Belgium;
where acquired by the present owner

Literature:
L. Fornasari, Pietro Benvenuti, Florence 2004, mentioned on p. 207

Engraved:
by Giuseppe Asioli (Correggio 1783–1845), published in Niccolò Palmerini, Pitture del Cavaliere Pietro Benvenuti, Pisa 1821

We are grateful to Liletta Fornasari for confirming the attribution on the basis of a high-resolution digital photograph.

The composition of the present Holy Family refers to the classical tradition of the subject referring to a series of works ranging from Raphael to Pompeo Batoni, revealing the cultural associations of the artist Pietro Benvenuti, who was the leading painter of Florentine Neoclassicism. The Madonna is here, represented in profile while, with the Child, she observes the cherries offered to him by Joseph which are symbolic of his future sacrifice.

Following his initial training in Florence, Benvenuti was in Rome from 1792 to 1803 where he met Vincenzo Camuccini and Luigi Sabatelli with whom he opened a studio. His study of the great masters of the Renaissance, and especially Raphael and Michelangelo, after whose works he made drawings, is documented during this period (see: L. Fornasari, Pietro Benvenuti, Florence 2004, p. 104 ff.).

On his return to Florence Benvenuti was appointed court painter to Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi and subsequently he became the director of the Accademia di Belle Arti. Belonging to this period are Judith displaying the head of Holofernes to the people of Betulia (Arezzo Cathedral), the Oath of the Saxons to Napoleon (Galleria d’arte moderna, Palazzo Pitti, Florence) and Elisa Baciocchi and her court (Versailles Museum), all of which are monumental canvases, considered among his most important works.

He was a celebrated and prolific portraitist, but few religious paintings, such as the present work, by the artist are known owing to his working at a time of rising secularism influenced by prevalent enlightenment thought.

The present Holy Family is a significant rediscovery of a work that is documented in contemporary sources. It was reproduced in an engraving by Giuseppe Asioloi (Coreggio 1783-1845) and included in the collection of twelve prints in Niccolò Palmerini’s Pitture del cavaliere Pietro Benvenuti published in Pisa in 1821. Commenting on the painting, the author described the work’s fine composition, the nobility of the Virgin’s features and its bold colouring as well as ‘lo sfoggio di pieghe con arte, ed eleganza disposte’ [‘the artful display of elegantly disposed folds’]. Moreover, this text recorded information concerning the painting’s provenance. The work was executed in 1806 for the private chapel of Angelo Maria Majola, most probably situated in Florence where his family is documented to have owned property (Giornale degli avvisi ed atti giudiciali, n. 43, Firenze, 30 maggio 1843). In 1821, when Palmerini’s book was published, the painting was still in this location.

In addition to the present Holy Family we know that Benvenuti made another painting of the same subject, which he gave to Baron Degli Alessandri, in whose palace the painter lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Additionally, his Arretine biographer, Ugo Viviani (1921) reports that following his return from Rome to Florence, in about 1803 the artist made ‘una Sacra Famiglia al naturale’ [‘a life size Holy Family’] which was subsequently given to Maria Luisa Borbone and was documented in Spain in 1830 (see Fornasari 2004, p. 207).

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

mark.macdonnell@dorotheum.at

09.06.2020 - 16:00

Stima:
EUR 20.000,- a EUR 30.000,-

Pietro Benvenuti


(Arezzo 1769–1844 Florence)
The Holy Family,
signed and indistinctly dated (on the belt): PIERO. BENVENUTI 18(?),
oil on canvas, 98 x 72 cm, framed

Provenance:
commissioned by Angelo Maria Majola, Florence;
art market, Belgium;
where acquired by the present owner

Literature:
L. Fornasari, Pietro Benvenuti, Florence 2004, mentioned on p. 207

Engraved:
by Giuseppe Asioli (Correggio 1783–1845), published in Niccolò Palmerini, Pitture del Cavaliere Pietro Benvenuti, Pisa 1821

We are grateful to Liletta Fornasari for confirming the attribution on the basis of a high-resolution digital photograph.

The composition of the present Holy Family refers to the classical tradition of the subject referring to a series of works ranging from Raphael to Pompeo Batoni, revealing the cultural associations of the artist Pietro Benvenuti, who was the leading painter of Florentine Neoclassicism. The Madonna is here, represented in profile while, with the Child, she observes the cherries offered to him by Joseph which are symbolic of his future sacrifice.

Following his initial training in Florence, Benvenuti was in Rome from 1792 to 1803 where he met Vincenzo Camuccini and Luigi Sabatelli with whom he opened a studio. His study of the great masters of the Renaissance, and especially Raphael and Michelangelo, after whose works he made drawings, is documented during this period (see: L. Fornasari, Pietro Benvenuti, Florence 2004, p. 104 ff.).

On his return to Florence Benvenuti was appointed court painter to Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi and subsequently he became the director of the Accademia di Belle Arti. Belonging to this period are Judith displaying the head of Holofernes to the people of Betulia (Arezzo Cathedral), the Oath of the Saxons to Napoleon (Galleria d’arte moderna, Palazzo Pitti, Florence) and Elisa Baciocchi and her court (Versailles Museum), all of which are monumental canvases, considered among his most important works.

He was a celebrated and prolific portraitist, but few religious paintings, such as the present work, by the artist are known owing to his working at a time of rising secularism influenced by prevalent enlightenment thought.

The present Holy Family is a significant rediscovery of a work that is documented in contemporary sources. It was reproduced in an engraving by Giuseppe Asioloi (Coreggio 1783-1845) and included in the collection of twelve prints in Niccolò Palmerini’s Pitture del cavaliere Pietro Benvenuti published in Pisa in 1821. Commenting on the painting, the author described the work’s fine composition, the nobility of the Virgin’s features and its bold colouring as well as ‘lo sfoggio di pieghe con arte, ed eleganza disposte’ [‘the artful display of elegantly disposed folds’]. Moreover, this text recorded information concerning the painting’s provenance. The work was executed in 1806 for the private chapel of Angelo Maria Majola, most probably situated in Florence where his family is documented to have owned property (Giornale degli avvisi ed atti giudiciali, n. 43, Firenze, 30 maggio 1843). In 1821, when Palmerini’s book was published, the painting was still in this location.

In addition to the present Holy Family we know that Benvenuti made another painting of the same subject, which he gave to Baron Degli Alessandri, in whose palace the painter lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Additionally, his Arretine biographer, Ugo Viviani (1921) reports that following his return from Rome to Florence, in about 1803 the artist made ‘una Sacra Famiglia al naturale’ [‘a life size Holy Family’] which was subsequently given to Maria Luisa Borbone and was documented in Spain in 1830 (see Fornasari 2004, p. 207).

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

mark.macdonnell@dorotheum.at


Hotline dell'acquirente lun-ven: 09.00 - 18.00
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Asta: Dipinti antichi
Data: 09.06.2020 - 16:00
Luogo dell'asta: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Esposizione: 02.06. - 09.06.2020