19th Century Paintings Auction Includes Masterpiece by Ippolito Caffi

MILAN – Following the world record for the great “View of Piazza Navona, Roma” by Ippolito Caffi, (Sotheby’s Milan, June 2007, € 1,588,800), this time in the 19th century Paintings sale there is another beautiful Roman painting by Caffi: “The Pope benediction from St. Peter’s Basilica”. Created in 1857, two years after Caffi’s return to Rome after his long Parisian exile for having participated in the political movements of ‘48, it is among the most beloved themes of this artist from Belluno: St. Peter’s Square becomes once more the occasion for putting the lesson of the Roman School of Photography (one of the first photography school) into practice. The painting is estimated € 70,000-100,000.

Part of a series of works all dated ‘1904’ and dedicated to landscapes, “Mountain View (back from the country fields)” by Gino Severini is estimated € 60,000 80,000. The section, dedicated to views, continues with Cesare Maggi and his grand oil on canvas, “High Mountain”, a work from 1914 (131×121 cm., estimated € 35,000-45,000).

An important discovery: the beautiful pendant oil painted by Gaspare Landi, “Bacchus and Ariadne” and “Love and Psyche”, c. 1783. In Rome, Landi attended the art academy of Pompeo Batoni and simultaneously dedicated himself to the study of antiquities, becoming friends with Antonio Canova, his constant artistic reference point. The identification and finding of these two paintings is surely important if we consider that a large portion of this painter’s collection in his early Roman years is lost. Written testimonies of the time describe a series of 4 paintings that represented renowned couples of the mythology commissioned to Landi by the Prince Dal Pozzo della Cisterna. The pendant of our catalogue (cm. 160×130 each) is estimated € 60,000-80,000.

Lot 62 is the masterpiece by Carlo Markò the elder, a Hungarian painter who worked in Italy, namely in Florence and Rome, following a tradition that goes from Poussin to Lorrain and van Bloemen. “Diana and Callisto” is a grand canvas inspired by the “Metamorphosis” by Ovid and created in 1950 in the Medicean Villa Lappeggi, private residence of the painter and the seat of his school of landscape painting. The Pinacoteca of Brera in Milan displays a rural landscape created by Markò at Villa Lappeggi for the Marquis Carlo Crivelli in 1850, the same year of our painting, estimated € 80,000-120,000.

“The Painter” is an unusual – and ironic – oil on canvas probably referable to a series of works and studies that the Venetian Giacomo Favretto dedicates, from the first seventy years of the Twentieth-century to the theme of the lessons at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, of which is part “Anatomy Lesson”, one of his most important works, now displayed at Brera (cm. 46×32, 1871-72, est. € 18,000-25,000).

Following is the beautiful series of Female Portraits, beginning with “In vedetta” by Giuseppe De Nittis exhibited in 1914 at the XI Biennial Exhibition of Venice in the room dedicated to the painter, now it is estimated € 120,000-150,000.

Giovanni Boldini created, in 1912, “Lady in yellow” oil on wooden panel. Taking the “non-finito” technique to the limits, in this work the painter expresses a sense of spatial dynamism, even if the model portrayed poses perfectly still (cm. 26×34, estimated € 45,000-55,000.

Belonging to a youthful phase of the painter, “The horse stable” created in 1848 by Filippo Palizzi, (oil on canvas, cm. 55×74, estimated € 30,000-50,000) an oil on canvas that inspired the painting “The horse stable”, already part of the collection of the Princes Torlonia. Opposing this work, in technique, colour lay-out and usage of light is another painting in auction by the same artist: “Horses in the forest”, whose preparatory study is displayed at GNAM in Rome, is an excellent example of the achieved artistic modernity of this painter from Campania (oil on canvas, signed, estimated € 60,000-80,000).

Following is “Carabiniere and soldier on horse” created in 1906 by Giovanni Fattori, a return to typical themes of his repertoire but this time. His youthful enthusiasm is replaced by a deep feeling of loneliness and disappointment toward the society of the beginning of the Twentieth-century (oil on canvas, cm. 75×106, estimated € 200,000-300,000).

There is the adventurous story of the painter Fausto Zonaro who, at the end of the Nineteenth-century, moved to Constantinople where he was imprisoned for violating the prohibition of painting human faces. He is freed by the Sultan – an amateur painter himself – and allowed to paint the religious ceremony presented here in the catalogue. “The 10th Mouharran” depicts a ceremony that evokes the murdering of the husband and of the children of Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed (pastel on paper mounted on canvas, cm. 80×128, estimated € 50,000-70,000).

In the small section of the catalogue dedicated to sculpture, we would like to mention Maternità, a bronze from 1903 by Paolo Troubetzkoy (height cm. 42, estimated € 20,000-30,000).