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Old Masters Online

April 24, 2018, 12:00 PM EST | New York, NY, US    Timed Auction

Lot 9: FOLLOWER OF GIUSEPPE ARCIMBOLDO | An anthropomorphic allegory of Spring

FOLLOWER OF GIUSEPPE ARCIMBOLDO | An anthropomorphic allegory of Spring
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
  • Consignment Designation: Property of a Private Collector
  • Description: oil on canvas;

    bears an inscription upper left: 'PRIMABERA' 

  • Dimensions: canvas: 38 1/2 by 31 1/2 in.; 98 by 80 cm.
  • Dimensions Alt: framed: 43 by 35 in.; 109.2 by 89 cm.
  • Catalog Note: This anthropomorphic figure composed of flowers relates to the work the Milanese painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, painted in 1573 and is now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv. no. 1964-30). The original is part of a series of 'The Four Seasons', commissioned by the Emperor Maximilian II as a gift for the Elector of Saxony. 

    Arcimboldo’s anthropomorphic designs were celebrated for their wit and artifice, leading him to paint for the courts of Vienna and Prague. His fame and success was so far reaching, that his composite heads were imitated throughout the artist’s lifetime. The present allegory of Spring is an example of that. His idiosyncratic style arguably makes him the most modern sixteenth-century painter, whose work continued to resonate with artists well into the twentieth century, particularly with the Surrealists and Salvador Dalí.

  • Provenance: With Galerie Andree & Hipola, Madrid, by 1962;
    Private collection, Paris;
    Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 2 February 2018, lot 113 (as one of a pair);
    There acquired by the present collector.
  • Condition: The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920,, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.This picture shows hardly any restorations under ultraviolet light or to the naked eye. There seems to be restoration beneath the white collar, particularly under the left end of this collar. There is also a horizontal restoration in the center of the left side. If the work were cleaned, other restorations would presumably become more apparent, particularly in the torso of the floral figure, but the head and the headdress seem to be particularly healthy. Like the other painting in the pair, this picture does appear to be quite noticeably dirty, and cleaning is recommended.
    "This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
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Lot 9: FOLLOWER OF GIUSEPPE ARCIMBOLDO | An anthropomorphic allegory of Spring
Old Masters Online
April 24, 2018, 12:00 PM EST