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Lot 18: Gaetano Chierici

International Fine Art Auction

by Barridoff Galleries

28 October 2016

Portland, ME, USA

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Gaetano (1838) Chierici (1838-1920) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

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Description: Gaetano Chierici It. 1838?1920 The Mask Signed and dated "Chierici Gaetano [sic] 1871" l.l. Oil on canvas 31 x 41 in. 78.7 x 104.1 cm Property of the Estate of William F. Herman,
Georgetown, Maine Provenance: Purchased by the current owner's great grandmother in Italy ca. 1874. It has never since been for sale privately or at auction. A copy of a letter written in Italian by the artist to the current owner' great grandmother in which he refers to her purchase of "The Mask" accompanies the lot.
Galeano Chierici (not the letter referred to previously): "In my painting there is no inspiration of hidden meaning; there are no melancholy figures, rigid and vague in symbolism to delight the minds of the philosophers, but there is a profound affection for family, that's what inspires me.  That's why I was, and remain, a 'picture seller,' which is what they called me many years ago and which was reinforced to me by my children with the caresses and looks constantly radiating the smiles of their infancy; just as did my life's companion with the joyful surroundings that she created in my house." Chierici was one of the leading artists of the Italian School during the 19th Century. His subjects, here as everywhere, gave freshness to old themes. The Magazine of Art wrote in 1881: "We owe much to a painter who gives us homely subjects treated with sincerity and directness.? He has made poor Italian interiors his own, and paints the peasant and his children with an intimate sympathy and cordiality??Chierici has lived among his subjects, and paints people and things with a sincere and intense reality." TThat kind of description is rarely ascribed to a 19th Century masterpiece. But one has only to look at Chierici's images, the current one included, to realize that the artist was nothing short of a master. Every bit of this image demonstrates how hand, paint, and brush can work masterfully together with intuition to create illusion, not what we would today call photographic.This particular image proved to be extremely popular and it was reproduced several times both by the artist himself and by competent followers.Several of these images have appeared on the market, and prices realized have ranged from $2,000 to nearly $300,000. The current image to be offered at the Barridoff Galleries auction on October 28 is dated 1871, most likely the oldest known in private hands. The image at Barridoff stands as unique because it was purchased in Italy by the great grandparents of the current owner, a Maine family, in the late 18th Century and has never since been offered for sale privately or at auction. A copy of this image dated 1874 by the artist and of similar size was sold at Sotheby's London, New Bond Street in 2015 for $198,290 (£131,000). This one is dated three years earlier, 1871 and, given the date and the letter appears to be the first version by the artist still in private hands. The first version, no doubt, is the one dated 1869 in the Pinacoteca de Brera in Milan. Some of the above material was found at askART.com

Condition Report: Good condition, good appearance, old wax lining (reversible with no harm done if desired but not essential and with no bearing on the surface recto), very minor spots of restoration at the extremes and would be hidden by a proper frame liner, possibly an old spot or two elsewhere

Notes: Gateano Chierici: "In my painting there is no inspiration of hidden meaning; there are no melancholy figures, rigid and vague in symbolism to delight the minds of the philosophers, but there is a profound affection for family, that's what inspires me.? That's why I was, and remain, a 'picture seller,' which is what they called me many years ago and which was reinforced to my by my children with the caresses and looks constantly radiating the smiles of their infancy; just as did my life's companion with the joyful surroundings that she created in my house." Chierici was one of the leading artists of the Italian School during the 19th Century. His subjects, here as everywhere, gave freshness to old themes. The Magazine of Art wrote in 1881: "We owe much to a painter who gives us homely subjects treated with sincerity and directness.? He has made poor Italian interiors his own, and paints the peasant and his children with an intimate sympathy and cordiality??Chierici has lived among his subjects, and paints people and things with a sincere and intense reality." T That kind of description is rarely ascribed to a 19th Century masterpiece. But one has only to look at Chierici's images, the current one included, to realize that the artist was nothing short of a master. Every bit of this image demonstrates how hand, paint, and brush can work masterfully together with intuition to create illusion, not what we would today call photographic. This particular image proved to be extremely popular and it was reproduced several times both by the artist himself and by competent followers.Several of these images have appeared on the market, and prices realized have ranged from $2,000 to nearly $300,000. The current image to be offered at the Barridoff Galleries auction on October 28 is dated 1871, most likely the earliest known of unquestionable authenticity. The image at Barridoff stands as unique because it was purchased in Italy by the great grandparents of the current owner, a Maine family, in the late 18th Century and has never since been offered for sale privately or at auction.

Provenance: Purchased by the current owner's great grandmother in Italy ca. 1874. It has never since been for sale privately or at auction. A copy of a letter written in Italian by the artist to the current owner' great grandmother in which he refers to her purchase of "The Mask" accompanies the lot.
Galeano Chierici (not the letter referred to previously): "In my painting there is no inspiration of hidden meaning; there are no melancholy figures, rigid and vague in symbolism to delight the minds of the philosophers, but there is a profound affection for family, that's what inspires me.  That's why I was, and remain, a 'picture seller,' which is what they called me many years ago and which was reinforced to me by my children with the caresses and looks constantly radiating the smiles of their infancy; just as did my life's companion with the joyful surroundings that she created in my house." Chierici was one of the leading artists of the Italian School during the 19th Century. His subjects, here as everywhere, gave freshness to old themes. The Magazine of Art wrote in 1881: "We owe much to a painter who gives us homely subjects treated with sincerity and directness.? He has made poor Italian interiors his own, and paints the peasant and his children with an intimate sympathy and cordiality??Chierici has lived among his subjects, and paints people and things with a sincere and intense reality." TThat kind of description is rarely ascribed to a 19th Century masterpiece. But one has only to look at Chierici's images, the current one included, to realize that the artist was nothing short of a master. Every bit of this image demonstrates how hand, paint, and brush can work masterfully together with intuition to create illusion, not what we would today call photographic.This particular image proved to be extremely popular and it was reproduced several times both by the artist himself and by competent followers.Several of these images have appeared on the market, and prices realized have ranged from $2,000 to nearly $300,000. The current image to be offered at the Barridoff Galleries auction on October 28 is dated 1871, most likely the oldest known in private hands. The image at Barridoff stands as unique because it was purchased in Italy by the great grandparents of the current owner, a Maine family, in the late 18th Century and has never since been offered for sale privately or at auction. A copy of this image dated 1874 by the artist and of similar size was sold at Sotheby's London, New Bond Street in 2015 for $198,290 (£131,000). This one is dated three years earlier, 1871 and, given the date and the letter appears to be the first version by the artist still in private hands. The first version, no doubt, is the one dated 1869 in the Pinacoteca de Brera in Milan. Some of the above material was found at askART.com

Artist or Maker: Gaetano Chierici

Literature: OIl on canvas

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