Lot 18: Gaetano Chierici

Barridoff Galleries

October 28, 2016, 6:00 PM EST
Portland, ME, US
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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
Artist or Maker: Gaetano Chierici
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
Literature: OIl on canvas
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
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.
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Buyer's Premium
$0 - 499,999: 25.0%
$500,000+: 19.0%
From: To: Increment:
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$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,000
$50,000+ $5,000
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Payment: We accept cash, personal check, money order and bank transfer. We do not accept credit cards or paypal.
Shipping Information: Barridoff does not handle the shipment of any items. All shipping requests are handled through a local shipping agent whose contact information will be provided to all winning bidders. Goods will not be shipped until payment has cleared.
Buyer's Premium: Barridoff Galleries charges the buyer a premium to be added to the hammer price on each item purchased. This premium is equal to 25% of the hammer price up to and including $500,000.00, plus 20% of the hammer price over $500,000.00.
Taxes on your purchase: All purchases are subject to Maine sales tax unless the buyer possesses a sales tax exemption number either from or acceptable to Maine Revenue Services and presents to Barridoff Galleries at or before the auction a valid signed certificate from the Services stating that Barridoff Galleries does not have to withhold Maine sales tax on the purchase. Maine sales tax is applicable to the full purchase price as determined by the hammer price plus premium.
Condition Statement: Statements in the catalog and any other information provided by Barridoff Galleries and any of its employees are opinions; Barridoff Galleries and the consignors are not responsible for errors and omissions therein. Barridoff Galleries makes no representation or warranty with respect to and is not responsible for the description, quality, condition, or authenticity of any items sold, and makes no warranty as to merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All items are sold "AS IS." Prospective bidders should inspect the property before bidding to determine its condition, size, and whether or not is has been repaired or restored. No representation or warranty is made as to copyright of any property or whether the buyer acquires any reproduction rights of the property.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Please note that whenever possible, the specific medium of all photographic images in this sale is listed in the various catalogue entries. Whether they are listed as "photographs", or more specifically as "gelatin silver prints", 'photogravures", etc..., the medium is the original.
When mounted, the catalogue entry includes that information. However, lots 76 and 77 are catalogued as mounted but are not. They are listed correctly with all the condition reports. If a lot was mounted, it was most likely always mounted and was intended to be mounted.

A statement of condition as found here on Artfact.com for any lot that includes only the four words "Good condition, good appearance" and no further explanation of a lot's condition, indicates a preliminary examination only by the staff of Barridoff Galleries. In such a case in particular, although also highly recommended for any lot, the prospective bidder should ask for a more extensive examination, examine the painting him or herself, or have a professional restorer do so on his or her behalf.

All oils in the sale must be assumed to have some craquelure. Craquelure will be mentioned if it seems, in our opinion, to be extensive, separated, or obtrusive, especially for its date. Loss of intensity or color in watercolors will be mentioned only if it seems, in our opinion, to be significant or obtrusive. Almost every watercolor has some loss of intensity from aging and direct or indirect light over time. We qualify those pictures we feel to be in mint condition with the term "mint or nearly mint", "pristine or nearly pristine", "little or no restoration", "little or no restoration, probably none", or the like, in order to avoid problems arising from differences of opinion and interpretation. We use "restoration" to mean inpaint or overpaint, and treat lining and thinness (or overcleaning/loss of paint surface) as issues separate from restoration. "Very minor scattered restoration" means it seems to us almost not worth mentioning; "minor scattered restoration" means a bit more. "Scattered restoration" alone may mean anything from several scattered spots to many scattered spots, but none of these is usually or particularly meaningful or bothersome. Unless very serious, we usually don't include thinness of surface paint in most condition reports because, again, it is often a matter of opinion and taste. The problem would have to be very obvious to the naked eye to be included. We do not mention minor ghosts of a crease or line on the surface caused by a stretcher unless it is in some way atypical or impacts significantly on the surface. If an image is painted directly on Masonite, board, canvasboard or the like, it is not considered lined and therefore nothing about its being lined is mentioned in condition reports. Barridoff Galleries tries to distinguish between works painted directly on such supports and those canvases that are laid down on such supports, but does not guarantee the type of support or lining. Although we will answer as best we can any questions in regard to the surface, if the buyer has questions about it, he or she is cautioned to examine the work under consideration in person or have an expert look at it for him/her. If a condition report includes no mention of lining, the subject artwork is probably not lined or is painted directly on a hard surface such as a panel. No one representing Barridoff Galleries is a qualified expert in regard to condition or restoration. While we do our best to provide an accurate description of condition no matter the medium, our description is in no way to be understood as a guarantee. Again, bidders are herein advised to examine any item in the sale prior to bidding in person and/or to have a qualified restorer of his/her own choosing do so for them. The Conditions of Sale found on the inside front cover and on page 4 of the catalogue also preclude any statements made in any other fashion and in any regard. Condition reports are in no way to be considered a guarantee of any kind. Our expertise in regard to condition is limited. This is particularly true of works on paper (including photographs), sculpture, and, most particularly of all, Old Masters. Those very few, if any, paintings whose condition reports may be more extensive and technical, are done by or with the help of a professional restorer. However, this disclaimer applies to all condition reports.
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