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Italian Works from the 16th and 17th Centuries at Partridge Fine Art
Titian rediscovery of St Sebastian priced at 10,000,000 Euros.

LONDON.-There will be an exceptionally strong selection of Italian works from the 16th and 17th centuries with paintings by Titian, Correggio, Parmigianino, Pontormo, Guido Reni and the Master of the Annunciation of the Shepherds. In addition there will be important works by Dutch, Flemish and French masters including, Van Dyck, Ter Brugghen, van Bijlert, Vignon, Vernet and Vouet. Several of the paintings are important rediscoveries and rarely have such outstanding works been offered for sale in one gallery at one time. Partridge Fine Art and Whitfield Fine art hope to bring back some of the grandeur of the past great gallery exhibitions of Bond Street. It will be the first opportunity to see two important landscapes from Nicolas Poussin's maturity, paintings that were done for Carlo Antonio Dal Pozzo around 1650, and show his consummate ability to represent pure landscape without a history subject. Apart from the smaller Renaissance pictures, there is a group of major seventeenth century Italian canvases, such as the great painting by Mattia Preti of Solomon worshipping Idols, and a fable from Aesop by Caravaggio's rival Tommaso Salini.

‘Ours is one of the largest galleries in the West End and this space lends itself perfectly to an exhibition of this scale.’ says Mark Law, Chairman Partridge Fine Art. ‘This exhibition is an important part of our summer schedule and, as we are no longer showing at a London fair, will draw art lovers to Partridge – a gallery primarily known for its decorative arts – something we’re hoping to change.’

‘Whitfield Fine Art are pleased to have the opportunity to exhibit on Bond Street. The area has a long tradition of shows like this – which are, sadly, increasingly rare.’ says Clovis Whitfield. ‘We are excited about exhibiting these wonderful works to a new audience and bringing together such great artists in one exhibition.’

Among the highlights of the paintings for sale is an important Titian rediscovery of St Sebastian priced at 10,000,000 Euros. Recently cleaned, the St Sebastian is a rare signed work by the artist which Professor Paul Joannides dates between 1530-35 when Titian used the form of signature TICIANUS as with the St John the Baptist now in the Accademia, Venice. It was most probably painted for the Duke of Mantua and has been in a private New York collection since it was last seen on the market in the late 1980s.

Correggio's Head of Christ is a beautiful panel from this rare and coveted artist from Parma. It has just been requested for the major Correggio exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale in Parma in September 2008 - which will be the first monographic exhibition on the artist since 1935. This work is the fist Coreggio to come on the market since the ex Gauge picture that sold to the Getty in the early 1990’s, and a critic has written of it 'to call this a masterpiece seems lame'.

The exhibition includes two enchanting small landscapes by Nicolas Poussin that came originally from the collection of Carlo Antonio Dal Pozzo, Cassiano's younger brother, who was a friend and protector of the artist. These works, which have separate histories since the early nineteenth century and have only recently been rediscovered, are pure landscapes that were of great significance for the Roman experience of Poussin's talents because the majority of the larger works were promptly sent off to the artist's clients in France.

Saint Peter visiting Saint Agatha in Prison by the virtuoso French prodigy Simon Vouet (1590-1649), one of many artists who were influenced by Caravaggio. It has just been requested for the important exhibition Simon Vouet in Italie, to be held at Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes and Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon 2008/09. Recently cleaned, this dramatic three-figure composition has now been revealed as a masterpiece from the artist’s early Caravaggesque period when he was at the height of his powers. It was probably painted for Francesco Barberini in Rome around 1624 and has been in private American collections since the 19th century. It was exhibited in the ground-breaking Caravaggio and His Followers exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1971. Since 1967 it has been on long-term loan to three important American museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

There is a major work by the Florentine Mannerist artist Jacopo Carucci, called Pontormo (1494-1556) Portrait of Francesca Capponi, as Saint Mary Magdalen, circa 1525-28. It has recently been cleaned, removing an opaque varnish to reveal the artist’s characteristic vibrant brushstrokes. In his life of Pontormo of 1568, Giorgio Vasari describes this portrait of the young Francesca Capponi (b.1511) in the guise of Mary. It was a small, domestic work painted for the bedroom of her father, the banker Ludovico di Gino Capponi, for whom Pontormo decorated the chapel in Santa Felicita between 1525-28. This portrait was exhibited for the first time in the Museo Capodimonte in Naples in 2006, and both Professor Janet Cox-Rearick and Dr Philippe Costamagna have now confirmed this attribution.

A self portrait by Guido Reni (1575-1642) was painted when the artist arrived in Rome from his native Bologna. It is a fascinating document of the artist’s history because of an inscription and letter on the back of the canvas. The inscription states GVIDVS FIGLIVS DANIELVS RENI ET IVNIFERA DE POZZI PINXIT, whilst the letter details how Guido Reni painted the work when he was sporting a small moustache and later sends it to the engraver Bartolomeo Coriolano in the 1620s.

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