Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 14

Curiously the annals of Colnaghi reveal relatively few sales
With the benefit of hindsight, certain elements of continuity
of paintings by Ribera, although as early as 1921, before the
characterize the present collection of works, but there are also
general revival in Baroque painting had got under way in
significant indications of change. Some of the artists represented
America, Otto Gutekunst attempted to interest Robert Sterling
here – Morales, El Greco, Zurbarán and seventeenth-century
Clark in a work by the great Spanish master: “I have just shown
Italian artists such as Orazio Gentileschi – are part of a long
the Ribera to Augustus John and he was most enthusiastic about
Colnaghi tradition. Luca Giordano, whose powerful Apollo and
it.” Then in 1958, during the period when Colnaghi director
Marsysas (cat. no. 15) is in the current catalogue, is another artist
Roderick Thesiger was making some important sales of Baroque
whose work has featured prominently in Colnaghi’s history
paintings to American museums, the firm sold a Ribera
over the last fifty years. Sales have included significant examples
Philosopher (Archimedes?) to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. But it
of Giordano’s austerely Riberesque manner (The Entombment,
is not until comparatively recently that this has been followed by
Memorial Art Gallery, The University of Rochester), as well as
significant sales of Ribera paintings both by Coll & Cortés and
his more exuberant and light-hearted pictures (The Triumph of
latterly by Colnaghi, including the beautiful Tears of Saint Peter to
Neptune and Amphitrite, acquired by a private collection, 1989) and
the Metropolitan Museum of Art (fig. 4) and Thales of Miletus to
pictures which fall somewhere in between such as his Calling of
a private collector.
Saint Peter and Saint Andrew (sold in 2016 to a private foundation).
Colnaghi has also sold a number of important works by Frans
Francken, particularly in the last fifteen years while under
the direction of Konrad Bernheimer. Likewise, we have sold
important paintings by Roelandt Savery, represented here by a
magnificent and very rare Still Life of Flowers (cat. no. 24) painted
at the Court of the Emperor Rudolf II. This work represents the
pioneering role that the artist played in the development both of
landscape painting and still life in the Netherlands.
The pieces of Italian sculpture in the current catalogue
represent a return to an area that was very important in the
past, albeit somewhat neglected in the last twenty-five years.
An area which is totally new in Colnaghi’s long dealing history
is Spanish sculpture represented here by the pair of relief busts
of Soldiers (cat. no. 7) by Alonso Berruguete, a Spanish follower
of Michelangelo whose father had been a court painter to the
Duke of Urbino and whom Francisco de Hollanda described as
“one of the four eagles of art”. It is only very recently that the
significance of Spanish sculpture has begun to be recognized, as
reflected in a number of very important sales made by Colnaghi
in the last two years. Its recent renaissance owes a great deal to the
enthusiasm of the new Colnaghi partners, Jorge Coll and Nicolás
Cortés, and a number of scholarly publications which have been
promoted by the firm and the new Colnaghi Foundation.
Fig. 4. Jusepe Ribera, called
lo Spagnoletto, The Tears of
Saint Peter, ca. 1612-1613, oil
on canvas, 161.9 x 114.3 cm.,
New York, The Metropolitan
Museum of Art.


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