One of the highlights of TEFAF 2020 will be an extremely rare and impressive work by Sebastiano Ricci, The Battle of the Lapiths and The Centaurs which has been rediscovered after being lost for 60 years.
Sebastiano Ricci revitalised Venetian painting at the beginning of the 18th century and his work marked the transition between the Baroque and Rococo styles; he took the rich colours and luminosity of Veronese and further transformed it by his looser, more airy and spontaneously decorative style always shot through with a clear Venetian light, all traits he passed down in turn to Tiepolo. Ricci was widely travelled, since as one of the main exponents of the Rococo style he was called to many European courts who wished to draw on his talents. He was in France - where he became a close friend of Watteau, in Austria - where he was summoned by Emperor Joseph I to decorate the palace of Schönbrunn, and in England - where he executed a series of large canvases for the newly constructed Burlington House and also sold works to King George III.
Ricci's work is exceptionally rare on the Art Market, since his best paintings - allegorical and biblical paintings and frescos of significant dimensions - are already contained in public collections, many of them since the eighteenth century. The works he made for Lord Burlington are now in the Royal Academy, London, those acquired by King George III are at the Royal Collection, London. Those in the Hermitage have been there since the eighteenth century as have those in the Liechtenstein collection, acquired in 1819, and then of course there are the many frescos and ceilings in Italian palazzi and churches.
The present monumental work can be dated to the 1700s at which time Riccis work displayed a very close affinity with that of the Genoese painter, Alessandro Magnasco. It shows Ricci at the height of his powers of composition and as a colourist in this depiction of the story of the Lapiths and Centaurs taken from Ovids Metamorphoses, which was a popular choice from the Renaissance onwards for both artists and their humanist patrons since it symbolised both the victory of civilisation over barbarity and intellect triumphing over lust. It also has the added interest of being a collaborative work between Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, the formers nephew, who is credited with executing many of the background details such as architectural elements & trees.
This work is to be offered by Trinity Fine Art
at TEFAF Maastricht 2020, with an asking price in the region of 1 million euros.
Established in 1984, Trinity Fine Art has earned a reputation as a leading destination for exceptional works of art. As a dealer and consultant specialising in Master Paintings, Sculpture and Works of Art from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, its clients include many of the worlds major museums as well as most leading private collections.