Johann Wenzel (Wenceslaus) PETER
(Karlsbad, 1745 - Rome, 1829)
A Lion and a Tiger Fighting Over a Fawn, 1809
Oil on canvas, 81 x 103 cm
This hitherto unpublished painting is an immensely interesting find in helping us to reconstruct the artistic career of Wenceslaus Peter, a Bohemian painter who was to become a naturalised Roman citizen.
As a number of drawings by Bolognese painter Pelagio Palagi show us, this canvas is a smaller version (about half the original size) of a work of the same subject shown at a famous exhibition organised by the Napoleonic authorities in the Campidoglio in November and December 1809 to celebrate Rome’s promotion to the rank of imperial city immediately after the annexation of the Papal States, the enforced exile of Pope Pius VII Chiaramonti and the end of the Roman Catholic Church’s temporal power.
The painting shown in the 1809 exhibition was purchased by the King of Naples, Gioacchino Murat, who visited the Campidoglio on 14 November to peruse the exhibition, which was to be inaugurated a few days later. Peter’s now lost painting was instantly removed to Naples along with works by thirteen other artists which Gioacchino had bought.
In this context, Peter’s painting under discussion in this paper may be seen to be even more interesting, especially if we consider that, in all likelihood, it was commissioned by one of the members of the entourage that accompanied Gioacchino Murat to Rome at this time.
7 000 €
Price : on request