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In Zurich – A New Auction Season for Old Masters – UPDATED with sale results

August 27, 2012

Lot 3017. Attributed to the MASTER OF THE PORTRAITS OF PRINCES (active in Bruges/Brussels circa 1485 to the turn of the century), Portrait of a young woman at a window, as allegory warning against foolishness and false love.  Oil on panel. 47 x 35 cm. Estimate: CHF 60,000-100,000 [€ 50,000-83,330] This lot was unsold.

The Fall 2012 auction season will be rumbling back to life in September and Gallerie Koller in Zurich is offering up several Old Master paintings worth examining.  As previously announced, the sale will include a work by Goya, along with a larger religious painting by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a tender Infant Christ and Saint John by Joos van Cleve and studio, and a somber yet accomplished Balthasar van der Ast still life.

Lot 3016. CLEVE, JOOS VAN and workshop (circa 1485 Antwerp 1540), Christ and John as children embracing. Oil on panel. 97.2 x 59 cm. Estimate: CHF 220,000-280,000 [€ 183,330-233,330] This hammer price was CHF 910,000

Lot 3031. BERNINI, GIAN LORENZO, (Naples 1598 – 1680 Rome), The Mocking of Christ. Oil on canvas. 176 x 127 cm. Estimate: CHF 250,000-350,000 [€ 208,330-291,670]

From the lots notes:

This striking image of the mocking of Christ from a European private collection is one of the few known large-scale paintings by renowned sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini among a surviving painted oeuvre that comprises primarily smaller self-portraits. It was last seen publicly in the 2004 exhibition “La Passione di Cristo secondo Bernini” in Rome and is characterised, as Francesco Petrucci emphasises, by an impressive pictorial synthesis of naturalism, classicism and the Baroque.

Several authors have commented on this painting and affirmed its authenticity, among them Claudio Strinati (2003), Matteo Mancini (2004), Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée (2004), Francesco Petrucchi (2006), and Tomaso Montanari (2007). Tomaso Montanari identifies the picture stylistically with Bernini’s painting of David (of ca. 1623, oil on canvas, 73 x 65 cm, Inv. 2606, illustrated in: Montanari, 2007, p. 150) in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, noting in particular the same painterly description of the arms. He refers as well to Bernini’s painting of the Apostles Andrew and Thomas at the National Gallery in London (of 1626-27, oil on canvas, Inv. 6381, illustrated in: ibid., p. 151), citing the comparable rendering of flesh tones. In the representation of the garments Montanari shows parallels to the red mantle in our painting, the folds of which are modelled in an analogous manner through light effects. Montanari also recognises in the work a stylistic closeness to Bernini drawings in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence (“Nudomaschile, disegno d’accademia”, ca. 1630, red and black chalk, 570 x 435 mm, Inv. 11918 F, illustrated in: ibid., p. 138, Nr. 20a and “Nudomaschile, disegnod’accademia”, ca. 1630, red and black chalk, 545 x 399 mm, Inv. 11919F, illustrated in: ibid., Nr. 20b, p. 138), particularly in the leg position and representation of the big toe as well as in the rendering of drapery and the tilt of the head. As for the chronological classification Montanari assigns the painting to Bernini’s classical period from 1635 to its high point in the mid-1640s (ibid., p. 136).

Lot 3034. GOYA, FRANCISCO DE, (Fuendetodos 1746 – 1828 Bordeaux), Lot and his daughters. Oil on canvas. 91 x 125 cm. Estimate: CHF 600, 000-800,000 [€ 500,000-666,670](click to enlarge image) The hammer price was CHF 2,300,000.

From the lot notes:

This painting of Lot and his Daughters from the early period of the work of the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya was recently rediscovered in a Swiss private collection, where it had remained for several generations since the 1930s unseen by the public. Up to now the painting has only been available in the literature on Goya as a black and white photograph. With the re-emergence of the work, researchers on Goya now have the possibility of viewing this painting anew and of placing it in relation to the artist’s wider oeuvre. Francisco de Goya is probably the most important Spanish painter of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, who stood at the dawn of the modern period in art and in his early work masterfully brought together the luminous colours of the Enlightenment with the classical formal language of the Baroque.

Lot 3041. AST, BALTHASAR VAN DER, (Middelburg circa 1594 – 1657 Delft), Still life with fruits on a porcelain plate, a parrot on a basket, shells and insects. Oil on panel. Signed lower left on the stone plinth: B. van der Ast. 49 x 76 cm. Estimate: CHF 150,000-200,000 [€ 125,000-166,670](click to enlarge image) The hammer price was CHF 145,000.

Lot 3018. DARET, JACQUES, (Tournai circa 1403 – active until 1468), Right hand wing of an altar: Saint Francis receiving the stigmata. Oil on panel. 80.4 x 28.4 cm. Estimate: CHF 200,000-300,000 [€ 166,670-250,000] This hammer price was CHF 220,000.

Lot 3044. BERGHE, CHRISTOFFEL VAN DEN, (active in Middelburg 1617 – 1642), Group of people playing music in a park landscape. Oil on copper. 7.8 x 5.8 cm. Estimate: CHF 100,000-140,000 [€ 83,330-116,670] This lot was unsold.

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