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Spring auction of Old Masters

Fine Antiques Prague s.r.o - - Email

Lázeňská 287 4 Praha 1 Prague, Czech Republic
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Lot 2 - Mattia Preti (1613 - 1699) - The canvas depicts three figures in a very close framing and with a three-quarter figure cut. On the right-hand side, a man is placing an artichoke in his basket while focusing his attention to a young woman in humble attire, who is gently laundering a white sheet with a bar of soap. In the background, another young woman is observed carrying a basket, presumably laden with laundry. The strong lighting that strikes the figures from the left, meticulously rendered skin texture, strokes of brown pigment on the hands and notably the emotive and theatrical tone of the composition, immediately recalls the Caravaggio culture of the 17th century. However, in this painting, there is a discernible maturity compared to the beginning of the century. The portrayal of the man's hair and beard, defined with softer brushstrokes, diverges significantly from the early followers of Michelangelo Merisi, aligning more closely with the artistic sensibilities of painters from the mid-century period. Specifically to Mattia Preti, who is perhaps the most poetic of the Caravaggesque painters of his age. Born in 1613 in Taverna, Calabria, Mattia Preti soon relocated to Rome with his more mature brother Gregorio, with whom he had already started a close collaboration in his early works. Mattia was a huge success right from the start and by the middle of the century his paintings were in many Roman collections and he was in demand for paintings and frescoes in Roman churches, in particular for the large scenes in Sant'Andrea Della Valle. Oil on Canvas, 97,5 × 133 cm

Estim. 15 000 - 20 000 EUR

Lot 3 - Jan Peeter Verdussen (1700–1763) – atributed - The two counterparts show two battles in the Great Turkish War, the Battle of Vienna from 1683 and the Battle of Párkány from 1683. Both images have tapes with captions in Spanish The two counterparts depict significant battles from the Great Turkish War: the Battle of Vienna in 1683 and the Battle of Párkány in the same year. Each image features accompanying captions in Spanish. “EL SITIO Y LIBERACION DE LA CIVIDAD DE VIENNA” (The Siege and Liberation of the City of Vienna): On September 12, 1683, during the historic Battle of Vienna, an army under the command of the Polish King John III Sobieski decisively defeated the Ottoman forces, liberating the city from siege. The focal point of the composition captures a dramatic duel between a Christian and a Turkish rider, presumed to symbolize the respective military leaders, King Sobieski and Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha. Advancing infantrymen are depicted beneath the flags of the Holy Roman Empire, featuring the iconic black, double-headed eagle on a yellow background. Notably, their uniforms reflect the attire of the 18th century, the period of the painting's creation, rather than the era of the battle itself. Along the left edge of the picture, a rider with an ermine collar engages in combat with a Turkish rider. Among the horses, a fallen Turkish soldier tries to escape further danger. This particular scene bears resemblance to a painting by Gonzales Franciscus Casteels (died after 1709) in the Palace Museum in Wilanów with the Battle of Vienna, However, notable adjustments have been made to the posture of the Turkish rider in the present picture. In the foreground are visible Turkish weapons and drums, as a symbol of the defeat suffered by the Ottoman army. In the background, the panorama of Vienna emerges, with the towering presence of St. Stephen's Cathedral dominating the skyline. In front of the city are the entrenchments and trenches utilized during the siege of the city. “EL SITIO Y CONQVISTA DE LA CIVIDAD DE GRAN” (The Siege and Conquest of the City of Gran): Following the Battle of Vienna in 1683, Gran (Esztergom) fell under the control of the imperial army within the same year. The decisive battle took place at the Párkány fortress situated on the opposite bank of the Danube River. Led by John Sobieski and Charles of Lorraine, the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and Poland inflicted a decisive defeat upon the Ottoman army. In the picture, the imperial army advances from the left, swiftly overwhelming Ottoman positions with cannons positioned on the right of the scene. The composition's central axis is The central axis of the composition is defined by the rider a rider atop a white horse in red uniform with fallen Turkish soldier lying on the ground. Speculatively, the former figure may represent Charles of Lorraine, while the armored rider further to the right could symbolize Polish King Sobieski. Within the left portion of the composition, the fleeing Ottoman army is displayed, as well as discarded Turkish flags, weaponry, a drum, and a turban all over the terrain. The background reveals the panoramic vista of Párkány and Gran/Esztergom on the opposite bank of the Danube. For topographical reference, the painter likely used an engraving by Justus van den Nypoort from 1694, although replaced the battle depicted there with a more dynamic composition. Oil on canvas, mounted on panel, 82 × 104 cm

Estim. 4 000 - 8 000 EUR

Lot 4 - Francesco Zuccarelli (1702-1788) - 1)Landscape with a Shepherd Family by a Well 2) Landscape with Shepherds by the River Zuccarelli is one of the most important figures among the landscape painters of mid-18th-century Venice. His time in London from 1742 to 1752 preceded his key role as one of the founding members of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768. He maintained consistent involvement in the institution's exhibitions, which peaked in his election as president of the Accademia di belle arti di Venezia in 1771. A shepherd accompanied by cows and sheep, converses with his young wife by a well. Positioned in the foreground, the wife leans towards a child while carrying a basket and jug, likely containing food for her husband. The composition is framed by a forest in the left background and an ancient tower in the land to the right. 2) In this composition, Zuccarelli strategically arranges the figures to the right and left of the center. On the right lies a woman with her son and both facing towards the shepherd on horseback, who is depicted from behind. The painter has placed a tree stump as a center element, behind which a dog is barking at the woman and boy. Meanwhile, a river flows through the middle distance, and in the background, a village settled among hills features a prominent church tower at its center. The scene is further enriched by a group of trees on the right. Zuccarelli's deft application of a brisk, creamy painting style effectively accentuates the rococo character of the artwork. Additionally, pastoral idylls such as this one were enjoyed widespread popularity during the 18th century. However Zuccarelli's mastery of representing this genre is unparalleled in Italian painting. Certificate written by Dr. Dario Succi. 55 x 73 cm, Oil on canvas

Estim. 16 000 - 30 000 EUR

Lot 5 - Johann Conrad Seekatz (1719–1768) - Johann Conrad Seekatz got a job position as a court painter in Darmstadt in 1753, yet he sold many of his works in Frankfurt due to the city's abundance of affluent collectors. He painted predominantly small-format paintings featuring genre scenes, historical narratives as well as religious and mythological motifs. These compositions are characterized by their vibrant arrangements, demonstrating Seekatz's profound understanding of Dutch, Italian, and French Baroque painting traditions.. The picture portrays a nighttime war scene, with the conflict unfolding in the background against the backdrop of a besieged city illuminated by flames. Positioned at the center of the composition is a high-ranking officer, distinguished by his red coat, riding a white horse, issuing commands to a captain on foot. A soldier, bearing a drum on his back, holds a torch to provide light for the commanding officer, his dark silhouette is contrasting sharply against the brightly lit torchlight. Behind the officer on the white horse, a second rider can be seen who also directing operations. Infantry in red uniforms advance from the right, are under the guidance of an officer clad in blue attire. The left edge of the picture features a tree with a seated soldier with other soldiers visible in the background. Three light sources illuminate the scene: a full moon veiled by wispy clouds, the torch held in the foreground and the fire in the background. This effective combination of light sources was very popular technique during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The inclusion of the full moon is serving both an aesthetic and practical purpose; it provides enough light for a night attack. Oil on canvas, 35 × 46 cm

Estim. 3 000 - 5 000 EUR

Lot 14 - Pauwels Franck, called . Paolo Fiammingo (1540/1546-1596) - attributed to - Positioned prominently in the foreground on the right, Noah stands alongside his wife and daughter-in-law, while his son, depicted only by his head, carries a metal vessel. Noah's wife wears a flat, wide-brimmed headdress reminiscent of the fashion of Roma women in the 16th century, a style associated with the notion that Roma people originated from "Little Egypt," a mythical region in the Orient. This cultural reference is reflected in the use of their attire in biblical paintings. On the left side of the composition, Noah's other sons and their wives make their way towards the ark, depicted with intricate detail. In the background, the ark looms, surrounded by pairs of animals and birds embarking on their journey. In contrast, on the right side of the scene, a village celebration near a castle symbolizes sinful humanity, heedless of divine commandments and destined to be wiped out by the impending Flood. God the Father observes these events from a cloud in the upper left corner. Characteristic of late Mannerist painting of the late 16th century, the composition features cool hues in the foreground robes and pale tones in the background architecture and animals. The deliberate arrangement of figures in dynamic poses, alongside the somewhat stylized color palette, aims to engage the viewer's imagination, inviting contemplation of the narrative's significance. Oil on canvas 70 × 91.5 cm

Estim. 16 000 - 20 000 EUR

Lot 19 - Master of the Misericordia active in the third quarter of the 14th Century - Mary and Christ are depicted seated on cushions, facing each other, upon a regal throne set against a golden background. With both hands, Christ reverently places the crown, signifying Mary as the Queen of Heaven, upon his mother's head. Mary, in a gesture of humility, bows her head and clasps her hands in her lap. The throne rests upon marble steps, flanked symmetrically by angels kneeling on either side, each holding flower vases. Notably, the vase on the left contains roses, symbolizing Mary as the Rosa Mystica, adorned with a thornless rose. The back wall of the throne is covered with red, patterned fabric. Mary is wearing an orange robe and a white cloak, while Christ is attired in a pink robe and a blue cloak. The angels are dressed in robes of blue, white, and green, with the color scheme carefully coordinated to complement Mary and Christ's attire. The harmonious, symmetrical composition, crowned by an arch embellished with oak leaf motifs, gives a sense of dignity and grace. This composition draws inspiration from Giotto's central panel of the Baroncelli Polyptych, dated circa 1334, housed in the Baroncelli Chapel of Santa Croce in Florence. Noteworthy artistic renditions influenced by this masterpiece include Bernardo Daddi's "Coronation of the Virgin Mary" from around 1340, currently held at the National Gallery in London, and Jacopo da Cione's "Coronation of the Virgin Mary" in the polyptych of San Pier Maggiore in Florence, circa 1370/71, also housed at the National Gallery in London. Oil on Panel, 66.5 × 46.5 cm

Estim. 16 000 - 30 000 EUR

Lot 25 - Jacopo Amigoni (1682–1752) - Jacopo Amigoni - born in Naples and died in Madrid, studied in Venice and is one of the most important Venetian rococo painters. His artistic endeavors extended across various European localities, including Germany, London, Venice, and Madrid, thus disseminating his distinctive and captivating style across diverse regions. At first glance, the scene featuring Mary, the infant Jesus, and young John exudes the ambiance of a genre painting, wherein the mother observes her children at play. The baby Jesus stands atop a stool, grasps a small crucifix in his hand, while inclining towards young John, who pays homage to Jesus by holding a banner inscribed with the words "Ecce Agnus Dei" (Behold the Lamb of God). Through their innocent interactions, the children symbolically foreshadow the future events of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River. Mary, attired in a crimson robe, gazes upon John with a blend of seriousness and affection, her right arm encircling his waist tenderly. With her other arm extended behind the baby Jesus, holding his diaper in her hand while a blue coat lies over his shoulder. Her blonde hair is loosely covered by a beige veil that falls over her front shoulder. Illuminated from the top right, the lighting casts a three-dimensional effect upon the figures, emphasizing their presence against the darkened background.. Amigoni has explored the theme of the Madonna with the Child John and Child Jesus on multiple occasions Within the Bavarian State Painting Collections resides a painting by Amigoni, showcasing a variation of the same subject matter. In this rendition, Jesus is depicted standing while John gazes up from below, with Mary and the child Jesus turning their heads towards each other (Inv. N: 2415). Originating from the Attel Monastery, the painting in Munich is believed to have been created during the latter period of Amigoni's residence in Bavaria, spanning from 1725 to 1729—an era likely corresponding to the creation of the present picture. The artwork is encased within a splendid, intricately carved, gilded leaf frame, adorned with volutes at the centers and lush acanthus tendrils, adding to its grandeur and aesthetic appeal. Oil on canvas, 100 × 77cm. Signed lower right

Estim. 16 000 - 30 000 EUR

Lot 47 - Josef Winterhalder (1743–1807) – attributed - In the cave with the grave, Christ, held by angels, lies and mourned on the sarcophagus. The crown of thorns lies on a stone on the floor. An angel supports the upper body and holds a hand of Christ. The angel hugs his head on the head of Jesus in mourning. A kneeling angel on the right holds the other hand of Christ and a third angel holds his feet. The angels show their tenderness to the wound painting of Christ, as you can see especially on the angel, which holds the feet: he looks at the stir. A seated angel figure on the left serves as a repoussoir figure, which closes the composition on the left. A putto on the left of Christ's body wipes the tears out of the cheek. Three heads of Cherubim still appear in the clouds over the scene. The composition is completed by a curved bow. The topic of the Engelspieta has been in painting since the 14th century. It does not show a certain moment of the passion count, but is a symbol of the Eucharist, which means that the dead Christ around grave is associated with the sacrifice. The elegant composition of the present drawing interprets the traditional topic with touching emotionality. The drawing shows the composition of an altarpiece from 1743 by Paul Troger for the left side altar of the Elisabethinenkirche in Bratislava (Pressburg). There are two drawings in the Albertina in Vienna, which also reflect this altarpiece. Inv. No. 27280 is sketchy after the painting. Inv. No. 30823 was previously regarded as a draft for the altarpiece, but Johann Kronbichler attributes the drawing today Josef Winterhalder or Josef Krämer. Inv. No. 30823 and the sheet presented here are very similar in style, but they differ in individual areas. The bottom of the cave in the Vienna sheet is carried out in detail, but there is no upper end of the composition with the cave blanket and the curved end of the altarpiece. Drawing on paper, 34 × 22 cm

Estim. 1 600 - 2 800 EUR

Lot 52 - Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) - The painting presents a man with thick, ebony locks, coupled with a slightly disheveled yet meticulously crafted beard in the prevailing fashion of the era, along with a broad mustache; collectively suggest the subject's early maturity, perhaps around the age of 25. Set against a backdrop of deep, neutral brown, the pure black of the robe stands out prominently, its subtle tonal variations serving as one of the most striking elements of the entire painting. Equally notable is the vibrant luminosity emanating from the subject's countenance, with rosy undertones reminiscent of the Po Valley painting, particularly evoking the style of Federico Barocci. While the composition and chromatic construction exhibit a Venetian flair, drawing inspiration from the portraiture of Lorenzo Lotto, later modernized by luminaries such as Tintoretto and Domenico, they also bear echoes of Bolognese painting traditions. In parsing the stylistic influences, one cannot overlook the interplay of Caravaggio's chiaroscuro technique, further enriching the visual narrative. Among the potential attributions, the Carracci group emerges as a compelling candidate. Notably, while Ludovico Carracci's oeuvre veered towards anti-classicism and deviated from Venetian precedents, Annibale Carracci's oeuvre, enriched by his sojourn in Venice in 1582, reflects a closer affinity to the Venetian school, particularly evident in his portraits. Annibale's works, particularly those from the turn of the century, epitomize some of the finest examples of Italian portraiture of the period. Noteworthy among them is the captivating portrayal of a young man at Palazzo Barberini, likely painted around 1590, distinguished by its nuanced handling of light and shadow. Similarities in lighting techniques and contrasts can be discerned in the painting under consideration, further bolstering the case for attribution to Carracci. Additionally, the striking resemblance to the exquisite portrayal of a child in the National Museum of Parma at the Pilotta, albeit slightly predating the present work, lends further credence to the attribution to the Carracci lineage. Oil on canvas, 36,5 × 26,5 cm

Estim. 8 000 - 12 000 EUR

Lot 53 - German master, 18th century - This captivating bust portrait presents a man of African descent seated with an air of composure, his demeanor exuding both tranquility and dignity. With his elbow propped up, his head slightly inclined, and his gaze directed pensively into the distance, he evokes a sense of contemplation. Adorned in opulent attire, he wears a resplendent yellow silk jerkin complemented by a regal blue velvet cloak, fastened at the neck with a delicate ribbon. The cloak drapes gracefully over one shoulder, cascading over his arm, while a white turban, adorned with a red cap and a white bandage encircling his neck, adds a distinctive touch to his ensemble. In his right hand, he holds an oboe, further enhancing the aura of sophistication and refinement. The subject is likely Angelo Soliman, as suggested by a mezzotint crafted by Johann Gottfried Haid after a lost painting by Johann Nepomuk Steiner. Notably, the resemblance between the two figures depicted is striking, affirming the likelihood of the sitter being Angelo Soliman. If authenticated, this painting would stand as the sole known portrait of Angelo Soliman, representing an invaluable artistic and cultural-historical artifact. Angelo Soliman's life trajectory is as remarkable as it is poignant. Born into slavery during a tribal conflict, he was subsequently transported to Europe, where he received an education under the patronage of a marquise in Genoa. His journey led him to serve Prince Johann Georg Christian von Lobkowitz, demonstrating valor as a soldier and saving the prince's life in the process. Transitioning to the court of Prince Wenzel von Liechtenstein, Angelo Soliman continued to distinguish himself, despite facing adversity, including temporary dismissal due to an unsanctioned marriage. Renowned for his linguistic prowess and esteemed character, he garnered admiration and forged friendships with esteemed personalities. Notably, his affiliation with the Freemasons' Lodge "Zur wahren Eintracht," where he associated with luminaries such as Mozart, further underscores his significance in both intellectual and social spheres. Oil on canvas, 63.5 × 49.5 cm

Estim. 8 000 - 12 000 EUR

Lot 69 - Franz Christoph Janneck (1703–1761) - Franz Christoph Janneck's artistic journey began with his enrollment at the newly established court academy of painters, sculptors, and architects in Vienna in 1726, followed by further studies in Frankfurt am Main. His dedication to his craft led to a distinguished tenure as a professor at the Vienna Academy, where he eventually ascended to the position of rector from 1752 to 1754. Janneck primarily created cabinet paintings, but also altarpieces. His work, exude a palpable sense of narrative joy and vitality, exemplified by the vibrant energy emanating from these two exemplary pieces Feast in the park A scene unfolds at an elegant outdoor gathering where a select group convenes around a lavishly set table. A centerpiece peacock pie commands attention amidst the festivities. Approaching from the left, a young cavalier enters the scene, offering his courteous salutations to the lady in white seated at the forefront of the table. Adjacent to her, an older woman with a delicate veil drapes over her head adds a touch of refinement to the gathering. On the opposite end, a young woman clad in a vibrant red skirt captures the gaze of a gentleman, engaged in casual conversation over a glass of wine. Meanwhile, a cleric occupies a distinguished position at the table's end, lending an air of solemnity to the affair. Completing the tableau, a skilled musician serenades the gathering with a lute, while a tantalizing array of fruits graces a nearby stool. Positioned strategically, a wine cooler stands ready to refresh the company's libations. Beyond the revelry, a majestic coastal landscape unfolds to the right, juxtaposed against the grandeur of a palace wall on the left, adding a picturesque backdrop to the scene. Musical company in the park A scene of refined leisure unfolds within the tranquil confines of a park, where an elegant gathering indulges in musical pursuits. At the heart of the assembly, a lady in resplendent blue attire graciously passes a sheet of music to a cavalier, poised with a cello in hand. Beside her, a young girl, likely her daughter, approaches bearing a basket adorned with freshly plucked flowers. However, the girl's attention is momentarily captivated by the antics of a monkey perched upon a nearby pedestal, engaging in playful antics with a page. To the front right, a youthful singer and a lute player await their cues, exuding an air of anticipation. Their attire, indicative of aristocratic lineage, distinguishes them as amateur musicians partaking in the genteel pastime. Adjacent, a refined couple stands in quiet conversation, while in the background, a servant gracefully delivers a tray laden with refreshments, further enhancing the ambiance of sophistication. The verdant backdrop of the park frames the scene, with a pair of trees anchoring the central axis behind the main group. To the left, meticulously landscaped grounds unfold, adorned with ornate features such as a bridge adorned with statuary, leading to the park's entrance. Against the canvas of the evening sky, a gracefully arched portico adds a touch of architectural elegance to the idyllic setting. Oil on canvas, 39.5 × 49 cm. Expertise Dr. Christina Pucher

Estim. 16 000 - 25 000 EUR

Lot 92 - Alexander Koester (1864–1918) - Alexander Koester studied at the Karlsruhe Art Academy. In Klausen in South Tyrol, a meeting place for painters, he not only met his future wife, but also found the artistic theme with which he became famous. The ducks he saw at his father-in-law, an inn owner. After marrying in 1893, Koester moved to Klausen in 1896. After the First World War he settled in Dießen am Ammersee. Although he worked in various genres, especially landscape painting, ducks remained his most important and popular motif, which gave him the nickname “Enten-Koester”. His careful observations of ducks made him an expert on these animals. Koester also intensively studied the reproduction of the water surface through the play of light and shadow. His paintings are characterized by great naturalness and liveliness. His stylistic development shows increasing virtuosity with freer brushwork. The picture is an excellent example of Koester's virtuosity, with individual, broad brushstrokes that border on abstraction in detail, delivering a realistic and lively as well as painterly delicate impression of the ducks in the play of light, water and colors. The artist perfectly managed to capture a fleeting moment that will change again in the next moment. Stylistically, the picture can be assigned to Koester's late phase, after he settled in Dießen am Ammersee. Signed lower right: A KOESTER. Oil on canvas, 28 × 47 cm, with frame 52 × 72 cm

Estim. 30 000 - 50 000 EUR

Lot 96 - Vlastimil Hofman (1881–1879) - Hofman was born in Prague to a Czech father and a Polish mother. The family moved to Kraków in 1889. From 1896 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, then from 1899 to 1901 in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts. When the war began, Hofman moved to Prague and later lived in Paris before returning to Kraków in 1921. Around 1921 his name changed from Hofmann to Hofman. He is a representative of symbolism and primarily created religious and mythological scenes in rural surroundings. A half-length portrait of an old woman occupies the foreground. She has put her hands on her cane. Although her face is marked by age, it radiates spiritual strength. Her eyes are half-closed, seeming to look more internally than at the outside world. Maybe she will reflect on her life in the twilight of her life. A lavender-colored scarf lies over her head and shows her gray hair above her forehead. A young, blonde woman with a pale complexion appears behind her on the right, her hand on her chest. She tilts her head slightly, looks down and expresses pity with her mouth open. On her head she wears a wreath of white and red roses with thorns. The wreath perhaps symbolizes the joys and pains of love. The left half of the picture is a view of a village in autumn. The season obviously refers to the autumn of life. At the bottom left you can see a young woman and a man dressed in black in civilian clothes. They are slightly turned towards each other, but their relationship to each other is unclear. There seems to be an indefinable tension between them. Behind them you can see two satyrs on the wall. They represent the animal forces of nature and perhaps reflect the passion behind the bourgeois facade. Oil on cardboard 49.5 × 70 cm. Signed: Wlastimil Hofmann / 1909

Estim. 20 000 - 30 000 EUR