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Important Old Master Paintings Auction at Sotheby's Milan
Raffaello de' Carli o Capponi, detto Raffaellino del Garbo, (Firenze 1466 ?-1524), Madonna col Bambino e San Giovannino, San Gerolamo e San Francesco, diametro 87 cm., oil on panel, Stima: € 100.000-150.000. © Sotheby's Images.

MILAN, ITALY.-Sotheby’s to hold Important Old Master Paintings Auction at Sotheby’s Milan. On Tuesday, November 20, a selection of paintings on view at 10-13. Some fine examples of paintings by Italian Schools from 14th to 16th century are highlighted by a small group of Florentine 15th century panels. Among which is an unpublished Madonna col Bambino e quattro angeli musicanti. It is a small sized panel (47x35 cm.) attributed for the first time in 1969 to one of the masters of Florentine early Renaissance, ‘lo Scheggia’ – Giovanni di Ser Giovanni Guidi, the younger brother of Masaccio. The origin of his nickname is not clear, maybe from his slender figure or from his skilfulness in wood carving.

The magnificent ‘Desco da Parto’ with the Triumph of Fame realized by Lo Scheggia in 1469 by order of Piero de’ Medici to celebrate the birth of his son, Lorenzo, is one of his most renowned masterpieces. It was exhibited in November 1994 at Sotheby’s Milan before being sold for $ 2.202.500 at Sotheby’s New York on the following 12 January. Today the ‘Desco’ is kept at the Metropolitan Museum.

The work– published only in 1999 – offered in our November sale represents the Holy Virgin in an architectural background, whose severity is mitigated by the lively colours of marble where the musician angels stand (est. € 100.000-150.000).

Following is a wonderful oil on panel – in splendid condition - Madonna col Bambino in trono tra San Gerolamo e Sant’Antonio abate by Sebastiano Mainardi. He was the brother-in-law of Ghirlandaio, a well-known painter, of whom he was close friend and collaborator and it is almost certain that he was artistically influenced by him as it can be noticed from the architecture and the landscape painted in a Flemish-style background. (96x114 cm., est. € 70.000-100.000).

It is a ‘tondo’ of diam. 87 cm. the fine oil on panel by Raffaellino Del Garbo, a Florentine painter active between the late 15th and early 16th century and one of Filippino Lippi’s pupils. The panel is in excellent condition and according to its composition and subject it reminds of his works on round panel now kept at National Gallery of Capodimonte (Naples) and at the Berliner Staatsmuseum (est. € 100.000-150.000).

Also of great interest and beauty is La Sacra Famiglia con San Giovannino by Pomarancio (oil on canvas, 191x144 cm., est. € 25.000-35.000).

For the section of paintings dated between 17th and 18th Century, we would like to mention a San Gerolamo by Mattia Preti, called Cavalier Calabrese. This painting was probably realized in the first half 17th century, therefore it belongs to the early production of this painter, who was already a skillful follower of Caravaggio’s techniques.

Formerly in the collection of the Duke of Manchester at Tandergee Castle, the work was on view in 2004-2005 at Viterbo on occasion of the exhibition curated by John Spike and devoted to the production of Mattia Preti and his brother Gregorio (96x62 cm., est. € 50.000-70.000).

The altar piece representing the Adorazione dei Pastori by the Swiss Ludovico David is of huge dimensions. He was born in Lugano but he artistically grew in Milan. Then he moved to Veneto and later to Rome where he stayed until his death. David was a prolific artist, strongly influenced by Correggio but unfortunately most of his works are lost. This altar piece is very important in understanding his production due to the lack of examples of this artist’s work and making this an excellent piece of reference (304x202 cm., est. € 40.000-60.000).

In June 2007 Sotheby’s Milan sold a Sacra Famiglia by Giovanni Battista Gaulli, called ‘il Baciccio’ for a record price of € 174.000. Now in our catalogue we can find L’Allegoria della Fortezza, probably the final study for one scene of the fresco realized by Gaulli between 1668-1671 for the cupola of the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone, Rome, the first important order this painter got there. Two other exemples of this study – notified by the Soprintendenza of Fine Arts – are known to scholars: one is kept in a private collection, the other in the National Gallery of Palazzo Barberini in Rome (oil on canvas, 65x56 cm., est. € 80.000-120.000).

Before the appearance of Tiepolo on the artistic scene, Sebastiano Ricci was considered the most important painter active in Veneto between 17th and 18th century. Caino che colpisce Abele(...) looks like a work realized by the hand of two different artists and it is likely that Sebastiano Ricci had asked to his nephew, Marco, to paint the landscape as he very often did. The scene of the fight between Caino and Abele is very powerful and reminds of anatomical studies made by Carracci and Guido Reni (165x132 cm., est. € 60.000-80.000).

According to the note of the sale catalogue, ‘sumptuous’ is the right adjective to define the diptych by Luca Giordano: Salomone e la Regina di Saba and Il Giudizio di Salomone are late works by one of the most important artists in Naples in 17th century and at the same time they are one of the most important discoveries made in recent years. Their story is very peculiar: in 1703 Luca Giordano was asked by the King of Spain, Philip V, to continue the decoration of the Royal Chapel of the Alcazar Palace in Madrid with scenes from the lives of King David and King Solomon.

The pictorial cycle should have included 12 paintings which were never completed because Giordano died only two years after beginning the work. Francesco Solimena - who had been called to continue the work – refused to finish the studies made by Giordano owing to his great respect for this artist. He preferred to start a completely new cycle, even though he decided to follow the indications and the themes planned by Giordano.

The pair of oil on canvas on sale were exhibited in 2004 in Mexico City (cm. 182x132 each, est. € 150.000-200.000).

In this catalogue we can also find an early work by Luca Giordano, Ritratto di Filosofo, executed like many others under the influence of Ribera’s portraits (oil on canvas, cm. 114x96, est. € 60.000-80.000).

Giuseppe Bonito was one of Solimena’s pupils and was among the most important 18th century Neapolitan painters of genre. His portraits were highly very appreciated by the aristocracy of Naples, above all owing to his famous portrait of Queen Maria Amalia of Saxony and the frescos in the Royal Palace of Portici: his Ritratto of gentiluomo con giacca e mantello rosso is estimated € 15.000-20.000.

In the section of the sale catalogue devoted to Still Lives, we would like to mention a beautiful oil on canvas by another Neapolitan painter active in 17th century, Luca Forte: Natura Morta di frutta con prugne, ciliegie, anguria e uva (notified, cm. 115x155, est. € 100.000-150.000). The painting appears to be from the artist’s late production, when he had stopped experimenting and had finally built his own chromatic and compositive language.

By Giuseppe Recco a pair of Nature Morte con Fiori: bright, full of details and chromatically exuberant, both of them are ‘Vanitas’, which was very popular in the Baroque era and Recco was one of the very best followers of this genre (cm. 130x91 each, est. € 100.000-150.000 each).

Didier Barra, called Monsù Desiderio was a painter from Lorraine but his artistic development took place in Naples in the first half 17th century. He executed highly appreciated bird’s eye views realized with the help of topographic etchings and in this sale catalogue we find a magnificent pair of views of Naples, painted after c. 1640 (cm. 36x36 each, notified by the Soprintendenza). They were published several times and the pair was also exhibited in 1990 in Naples in the well-known exhibition devoted to Neapolitan views, “All’Ombra del Vesuvio (...)”. Their estimate is € 180.000-250.000.

In the final part of the catalogue is a lively genre scene by Todeschini , Il Maestro di Scuola, a work with a rich bibliography starting from t

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