Offered by Franck Baptiste Provence
French Regional and Parisian furniture
Beautiful portrait of the virgin represented in prayer.
She is dressed in a veil, her head slightly bowed and her hands joined on a dark background with a halo.
Very nice original frame with roses and acanthus decoration, in its period gilding.
Oil on its original canvas and stretcher.
Inscription on the reverse : « Suzanne de Pasquet, born in 1667, married in 1697 to César de Berthier, adviser, died in 1751. Painted as a virgin ».
17th century Provencal school, after the work of the Italian painter Giovanni Battista Salvi*.
Height : 79 cm ; Width : 68 cm.
Original and workshop models in many museums, such as Dresden or London or Clermont-Ferrand and Grenoble for France.
Our view :
It is quite amusing to note that the author of the inscription on the reverse of our painting probably confused the subject and the owner of the painting.
Indeed this iconic model is one of the greatest successes of the painter Sassoferrato who excelled in the representations of the Virgin.
The simplicity and gentleness of his compositions perfectly reflect the peaceful and sacred expression that appealed to many of the faithful.
His workshop in Rome produced this type of work on a large scale, and some of his pupils settled in France, notably in Provence where he was particularly admired.
The painting we present is a perfect example of this production.
Giovanni Battista Salvi (Sassoferrato 1609 – Rome 1685).
The artist probably arrived in Rome at an early age, where he entered Dominiquin's studio.
Towards the end of the 1930s, he followed his master to Naples, where he met Francesco Cozza, another disciple of Dominiquin. Two altarpieces painted in Rome, respectively in 1641 and 1643, the Vision of St. Francis of Paola in the homonymous church and the Virgin of the Rosary in Santa Sabina, attest to the relative success of the young painter.
Nostalgia for the Umbrian painting of the quattrocento and Raphael, the years of apprenticeship with Dominiquin, the artist most faithful to the lessons of Classicism of the Carracci brothers, are at the source of Sassoferrato's art. Born in the Marches, a neighboring province of Umbria, the artist had to look early on at the examples of Umbrian painting of the 15th century and was charmed by the archaic, firm and serene paintings of Perugino and Spagna, as well as by the early works of Raphael. A dozen rarely mentioned paintings from the Basilica of St. Peter in Perugia constitute an important group of copies after these painters.
From these masters, Sassoferrato retains the rigor of a composition readable at first glance, the purity of the graphics, the rigidity of the characters, the softness of the landscapes and the light. There are many other copies after Raphael, Garofalo and Titian. Dominiquin's influence on Sassoferrato is seen above all in the application of the drawing and in the purity of the forms, that is to say, in the classical style.
The artist's production can be divided into three categories : altar paintings, small paintings of piety and portraits ; the distinction between the first and the second is sometimes arbitrary, since Sassoferrato uses, in a smaller format, figures copied from his larger compositions. Sassoferrato could have filled the churches of Rome with altar paintings through public commissions. This was not the case, as he had incurred the disfavor of the public at the beginning of his career.
Sassoferrato became famous mainly for his paintings of piety. He created two or three compositions that he and his workshop repeated ad infinitum, to meet the demands of a large private clientele. The pictures of piety always represent the Virgin, either with the Child and angels (Brera, and Dresden, Gg), or alone, depicted in bust on a dark background, head bowed and hands joined (Dresden, Gg, and London, N. G.). The simplicity of the composition, the expression of a peaceful, even gentle religious feeling, the finesse of the execution ensured their success. Sassoferrato also executed portraits of some of his patrons (Portrait of Mgr Ottavio Prati, Rome, G. N., Gal. Corsini; Portrait of a Cardinal, Sarasota, Ringling Museum), which are interesting to compare with the portraits of Dominiquin. He was not well known to his contemporaries, so much so that within
9 000 €