28/06/2021 News Stories & Press Release, Old Master, 18th & 19th Century Pictures
Roseberys is delighted to be presenting another strong Old Master & 19th Century Pictures sale on 20th July, starting at 11am. 239 lots comprise the auction in a variety of medium, and the works on offer vary from early 16th-century Italian compositions through to late 19th-century Victorian and European pictures. It will be the debut auction at Roseberys for Lara L’vov-Basirov, new Associate Specialist of the Old Master & 19th Century Pictures department.
Lara L’vov-Basirov comments: ‘The content of the sale spans Europe, and features early Italian, Flemish, and Spanish religious images; Dutch, British, and Italian landscape and genre scenes; a significant grouping of Russian works; 19th-century European paintings; handsome examples of Northern and Southern European portraiture; a strong contingency of British portraiture throughout the centuries featuring a large number of Victorian female portraits; and a small number of Impressionist oils on canvas. The leading lot is the arresting and historically significant ‘Portrait of Count Nikita Ivanovich Panin’ by Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov (lot 89).
The sale includes a strong section of 19th Century British portraiture, lead by Sir Thomas Lawrence’s intimate portrait in chalk of ‘Mrs Samuel Risby Whitehorne, bust-length’ (lot 59), with fine examples by Richard Ramsay Reinagle RA (lot 76) and the Studio of John Hoppner RA (lot 78) also included. Victorian portraits of female sitters are particularly well represented and this theme is led by the splendid portrait of Olivia by William Powell Frith RA (lot 135). Commissioned by Charles Heath for his Shakespeare’s heroines series, it is a significant work in the artist’s oeuvre and is being presented to the auction market for the first time. Other strong female portraits offered include those by Louis Emile Pinel de Grandchamp (lot 179), James Hayllar RBA (lot 180), Joshua Hargrave Sams Mann (lot 183), Charles Haslewood Shannon RA (lot 184), John Hanson Walker (lot 168), Sir James Jebusa Shannon (lot 208), Bernard Rooke (209), John Ernest Breun (lot 210), George Arthur Gaskell (lot 211), Oliver Rhys (lot 213), and Joseph Milner Kite (lot 216). Charming works in the styles of Mary Carpenter (lots 82-4), William Owen (lot 86), Jules Joseph Lefebvre (lot 178), and John Da Costa (lot 215) also feature.
The sale offers an important and varied Russian section (lots 87-90), comprising an early 19th century portrait of a Russian hussar official, an equestrian scene by Nikolai Yegorovich Sverchkov, the ‘Portrait of Count Nikita Ivanovich Panin’ by Rokotov, and an atmosphere landscape by Pawel Dshogin. Another prominent highlight is a significant group of works on paper by eminent Victorian artist George Frederic Watts OM RA. Most of these works (lots 138-144) were for many years in the Collection of David Loshak, writer, lecturer, professor of Art History, and art collector.’
Leading the highlights in the sale is lot 89, an oil on canvas, by Russian Master, Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov, 1735-1808. The Portrait of Count Nikita Ivanovich Panin measures 61.5 x 47.5 cm and comes with a pre-sale guided price of £100,000-£150,000. The portrait is one of Rokotov’s most exceptional and compelling works. Panin was an influential Russian statesman and chief diplomatic advisor to Catherine the Great. The present work was painted by the artist in the 1760s or early 1770s, during his short lived ‘Petersburg period’, after which he moved to Moscow. At the time, the artist was working on the coronation portraits of Catherine II for the Russian embassies abroad, commissioned by the Collegium of Foreign Affairs. Panin is depicted here with the Order of St Anne (received in 1748) and the star-shaped, pearl-spangled Order of St Andrew. This was the highest order of the Russian Empire, awarded to him on 22 May 1762 by Peter III for preventing war with Sweden and for his twelve years of diplomatic service. The latter award was a crucial milestone in his career, and very likely occasioned the commissioning of the present work for commemoration purposes. Rokotov’s palette in the present work is restrained, reflecting the intimacy with which the subject is treated, and in keeping with the austere and economical range of colours generally adopted in his intimate portraits. Rokotov is often celebrated as the ‘Russian Da Vinci’, due to the curious ‘half-smiles’ he bestows his subjects. Indeed, his portraits were widely admired at the time for their psychological realism, and the sympathetic, soft rendering of his sitters’ features. Interestingly, Panin and Rokotov were both members of the same Masonic organisation, the Moscow Masons Lodge.
Lot 90, that comes with an estimate of £12,000 - £18,000, is another work by Russian Master, Pawel Pawlowitsch Dshogin, 1834-1885. Dusk (oil on canvas laid down on board, signed and dated '1867') measures 97 x 135 cm. A typically atmospheric oil by the nineteenth-century Russian landscape painter Dshogin, it recalls many of the artist's works, in its dramatic early evening sky, its large scale, and its absence of human forms, thereby emphasising the immense and impressive expanse of the natural world.
Willem Willemsz. van der Vliet, Dutch c.1584-1642- Portrait of a man, aged 52, traditionally identified as Reinier Pauw, in black embroidered dress, fur collar, white lace ruff and a skull cap; oil on panel
Following strong results in the last Old Master & 19th Century Pictures auction, Roseberys once again has a fine selection of Dutch portraits on offer, including a superb ‘Study of an old man with a gold chain’ after Rembrandt’s original in the Museum Hessen Kassel in Germany (lot 18); and a sensitively rendered oil on oval canvas after Karel van der Pluym (lot 21), amongst others. An arresting portrait by the Circle of Johann (Jan) Kupetzki also features. Highlighting this section is an exquisitely painted portrait by Willem Willemsz. van der Vliet, c.1584-1642 (lot 14), which is fresh to the market and a rare offering at auction, with an estimate of £10,000-£15,000. The oil on panel, portrait of a man, aged 52, traditionally identified as Reinier Pauw, in black embroidered dress, fur collar, white lace ruff and a skull cap, measures 67.5 x 54.2 cm, and comes from a Private Collection, in the UK. Reinier Pauw (1564-1636) was born and lived in Amsterdam. He was an important Dutch nobleman and politician, holding the positions of Burgomaster, Councilman, Alderman and Mayor to Amsterdam as well as Ambassador to England. The traditional identification of the variant portrait to Pauw is based loosely on resemblance, and its accuracy should therefore be questioned. Although relatively little is known about Van der Vliet’s life, he gained enough acclaim in his own lifetime to be included in the list of eminent Delft painters in Dirck van Bleyswijck's Beschryving der Stadt Delft (Description of the City of Delft, published in 1667). He began his career as a history painter, training with the court painter Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt, before registering as a master at the local Guild of Saint Luke in 1615, and later becoming an accomplished portrait painter.
A highlight work, on offer by a British Master, is lot 115. Edward William Cooke RA, 1811-1880- Fishermen landing their catch at Scheveningen; signed and dated '1852', measures 55 x 94.5 cm. The oil on canvas comes with an estimated price of £8,000 - £12,000. Cooke studied under the prominent landscape painter James Stark, and also received guidance from artists such as David Roberts and Clarkson Stanfield. He was particularly interested in marine landscapes, and was heavily influenced by the work of seventeenth-century Dutch marine painters, as is evident in this piece. Indeed, the setting of this work in Scheveningen, recalls one of Cooke’s most notable works, ‘Beaching a Pink at Scheveningen’, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1855 and is currently in the collection of the National Maritime Museum in London.
Another maritime work on offer by a British artist is lot 117. The oil on panel by Nicholas Matthew Condy, 1816-1851, depicts a first-rate ship-of-the-line beating up Plymouth Sound and calling for a pilot to take her into the Hamoaze’. Condy, who grew up and lived in Plymouth until his death, took to recording the ships that made up the fabric of his daily life. His work gained admiration from the Earl of Egremont, one of Turner’s patrons, and he exhibited three maritime paintings at the Royal Academy between 1842 and 1845. In the present work, the first-rate ship sits at the centre of the composition with the pilot boat in the left foreground transporting the maritime pilots between land and the ship, which is to be piloted from Plymouth Sound into the Hamoaze, its primary inflow of water. The Hamoaze flows past Devonport Dockyard, one of three major bases of the Royal Navy today. This work comes with an estimated pre-sale price of £4,000 - £6,000.
17th and 18th Century English portraiture has a strong presence in the sale. Portraits by Nathaniel Hone (lot 43), George Knapton, on pastel, which is rare in the artist’s oeuvre, (lot 40), and a particularly charming work by the Circle of Hogarth (lot 45) contribute to this theme. A magnificent portrait by the Studio of Sir Peter Lely (lot 26) leads this thematic section. Estimated to make £4,000 - £6,000, the oil on canvas portrait of Miss Elizabeth Lewis, standing three-quarter length, wearing a green cloak fixed by a jewelled clasp in a landscape setting; bears old labels attached to the reverse and measures 125.5 x 101 cm. Elizabeth Lewis (c.1657-1696) was the daughter of a London vintner, Sir Thomas Lewis, who traded to Aleppo. Elizabeth married Thomas Whitley of Peele, Chester in 1680. After his children’s two deaths in 1696, old Lewis sold the house and estate, which likely included the present work, to the Dashwood family. Later, the Dashwood family was connected to the Manners family through the marriage of Vice Admiral William Dashwood’s daughter to the 2nd Baron Manners in 1828, and the portrait was sold at Christie’s in 1971 with other pictures belonging to the 4th Baron. The present work was likely painted in around 1677, when Elizabeth was aged twenty, as a product of the increasing gentrification of her father. Lely is known to have painted many female portraits around this time.
Lot 132, William Charles Thomas Dobson RA RWS, British, 1817-1898- Children’s Children are the Crown of Old Men; oil on canvas, signed with monogram and dated '1875, measuring 121 x 90.5 cm, has been entered onto the market with an estimate of £3,000 - £4,000. The present work recalls the religious paintings of the Italian Renaissance, and its composition, with figures clothed in biblical costume, demonstrates the influence of the Nazarene school, with which Dobson came into contact whilst travelling around Italy and Germany in the 1840s and 1850s. Indeed, after returning to Britain from his travels, Dobson primarily focussed on religious depictions, as well as the innocence of children - usually in an idealised manner. The title of this work, from a verse in Proverbs 17:6, depicts a mother presenting her children to her own father. This work comes with a provenance from the collection J. Carolus Stirling Esq (until 1876). It was previously exhibited at the London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1875, no.226.; Philadelphia, United States Centennial Commission, International Exhibition, 1876, no.34.
Lot 101, coming with an estimate of £4,000 - £6,000 is a work by Carlo Grubacs, Italian 1802-1878- Santa Maria della Salute, Venice; oil on panel, signed and measuring 24 x 13.5 cm.
Santa Maria della Salute was built in 1631 to commemorate the end of the plague that killed so many of the Venetian population, and was dedicated to Our Lady of Health, ‘Salute’. It is located at the entrance of the Grand Canal, where it opens into the San Marco Basin, and its central dome is visible from all over Venice, now emblematic to the city’s skyline. The present work is painted from the canal, with the Church’s main portal to the right of the panel. Grubacs has clearly placed emphasis on the architectural and exterior detail of the Church, and has masterly conveyed a sense of the Venetian light, so individual to the city, in the reflections of the bBasilica’s white marble façade in the rippling water. This work comes with a provenance with Cooling Galleries, London.; Private Collection, UK.
Lot 51, attributed to Jean-Simon Berthélemy, French 1743-1811- The Temple of Sibyl, Tivoli, seen through an Arch from the Villa Maecenas, 1774; red chalk on paper, measures 52.4 x 38.4 cm and comes with an estimate of £4,000-£6,000. Berthélemy trained under Noël Hallé (1711-81) and won the Prix de Rome in 1769 with his painting ‘Alexander cutting the Gordian Knot’. The French, unlike most British artists in the eighteenth century who visited Rome under somewhat haphazard circumstances, enjoyed a formal system by which successful candidates in the annual ‘Prix de Rome’ painting competition then undertook a three-year study period in Rome, as ‘pensionnaires’ of the King at the ‘Académie de France’. Berthélemy was a prize winner in 1769 and arrived in Italy at the end of 1770. On the advice of the Director of the ‘Académie’, Charles-Joseph Natoire, and influenced by the landscapes of Hubert Robert and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, he began to devote himself to landscape drawing, a practice not normally accorded importance in academic training. In this he was encouraged by Joseph-Benoît Suvée and Pierre-Adrien Pâris, who in the summer of 1774 took him to the ‘Villa d’Este’ at Tivoli, an experience that was to have a lasting effect on his artistic development. His red chalk drawings, taken here in 1774, towards the end of his visit to Italy, mark a break with the literal realism of the traditional topographical view, and encompass both the direct observation of nature as well as elements of picturesque romanticism. In size, technique and style, the present work belongs to these group of views of the ‘Villa d’Este’ and its environs. The focus of Berthélemy’s attention in this drawing was clearly not so much his slightly sketched figures, included, no doubt, to introduce scale, but on the great overgrown ruins which constitute the main feature of the composition. This work has been previously exhibited in the London, Royal Academy of Arts, 'France in the Eighteenth Century', Winter Exhibition, 6 January-3 March 1968, no.599 (as Hubert Robert, Landscape with ruins).
Lot 181, Alfred Seifert, Czech 1850-1901- Study of a standing nude; oil on canvas, signed, measuring, 86.9 x 62.8 cm comes with an estimate of £2,000-£3,000. Seifert was taught by Karl Würbs and Alois Kirnig, before moving on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He is best known for his serene and contemplative portraits of lone female figures, like the present work. Here, the sitter, seemingly lost in thought, is bathed in a strong light emanating from above.
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