Lot 4
Aller au lot
35 000 - 40 000 EUR


The Assumption of the Virgin
Oil on canvas
154 x 107.5 cm

Provenance - William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), former
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Chancellor of the Exchequer; acquired in Italy in 1850-1851.
- Remained in the progeny until 2004;
London, Sotheby's, 8 July 2004, lot no. 155, reproduced.
- Acquired at this sale by the present owner.

TOSINI Patrizia, Girolamo Muziano, dalla
Maniera alla Natura, Rome, Ugo Bozzi, 2008, 575p.
PIERGUIDI Stefano, "Girolamo Muziano e
Francesco Bassano: due pittori per un'Assunzione della Vergine", in Brixia Sacra, Rome, Studium, January-December 2016
GERE, J. A. "Two of Taddeo Zuccaro's Last
Commissions, Completed by Federico Zuccaro.
I: The Pucci Chapel in S. Trinità
Dei Monti." The Burlington Magazine, vol. 108, no. 759, 1966, pp. 286-284.

The painting that we present is to be related to the painting overlooking the high altar of St. Louis des Français, work of Francesco Bassano realized in 1589, of which it is very probably the modello, of a high degree of completion.
From 1572, important works were carried out in the Church of St. Louis of the French, at the instigation of the French Cardinal Matthieu Cointrel (1519- 1585, known in Italy as Matteo Contarelli). Girolamo Muziano was commissioned to create a triptych altarpiece with the Assumption of the Virgin in the centre, surrounded by St. Louis, King of France and Charlemagne, a project that had already been envisaged since 1566. The altarpiece was executed around 1573 - 1574, placed in the presbytery in August 1574, and was completed in 1581. In November 1585, a few days before his death, the cardinal had Muziano's painting (1) replaced by another of his commissions, of the same subject, by the Venetian Francesco Bassano. Some interesting compositional changes are to be noted between our version and the final version: if the lower part, illustrating the group of the apostles and the tomb of the Virgin, is strictly identical, the artist has finally aerated his composition by inserting a wider space between the "terrestrial" and "celestial" registers. The upper part, dedicated to the Virgin and the clouds of angels, is completely modified in the final version. That of our painting could be inspired by the upper part of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary from the Pucci Chapel, in the Trinità dei Monti, begun by Taddeo Zuccaro (1566) and completed by his brother Federico in 1589 (decoration still in place). Our work was engraved during Jacob Matham's stay in Rome between 1594 and 1597 (a copy in the British Museum, inv. V,8.200), where, moreover, the engraver attributed, in the letter of the engraving, our work to Taddeo Zuccaro. The fact that our work has been engraved encourages us to attribute a role to him in the process of creating the final work. In Federico Zeri's photographic documentation there is a photograph of a work proposed by Roberto Longhi (inv. 40575) to be attributed to Francesco Bassano: it is close in size (136 x 82 cm.), very quickly made and sketchy in appearance, showing the final composition. This work, reported in a private collection in 1969, could be a corrected sketch, probably taking into account the corrections suggested by Cardinal Cointrel. Finally, in the collections of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden (Gal.-Nr. 279), there is a work in a larger format than our painting (173 x 118 cm), of equally applied workmanship, considered until today as "a slightly modified replica of the final composition, in a smaller format", which could be the modello of the final composition. We would like to thank Mrs. Lena Widerkher for the information she kindly provided us with regarding the engraving by Jacob Matham.

(1): Girolamo Muziano recovered his work and decided to sell it in 1592 (just before his death) to the Benedictines of St. Paul Outside the Walls, who placed it as a transept altarpiece. In 1823, a fire destroyed the painting. However, traces of it are still preserved thanks to engravings (notably one by Jacques Callot) and a reduced copy of the artist still kept at the Collegiate Church of the Assumption in Anguillara Sabazia (Lazio).
My orders
Sale information
Sales conditions
Retourner au catalogue