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Lot 88: Fran‡ois de Nom‚, called Mons— Desiderio (Metz c.1593-after 1644 Naples)

Est: $80,000 USD - $120,000 USD
Christie'sJanuary 24, 2003New York, NY, US

Item Overview


Venice, a view of San Marco from the Bacino 193/4 x 30 7/8 in. (50 x 78.5 cm.) PROVENANCE Private Collection, England. LITERATURE M.-R. Nappi, Fran‡ois de Nom‚ e Didier Barra. L'enigma Mons— Desiderio, Rome, 1991, p. 189, no. A109. NOTES De Nom‚'s adoption of a pseudonym and his very frequent collaboration with other painters, who added the figures to his predominantly architectural subjects, have tended to confuse his artistic identity, even though the basic facts of his career are clear enough. Born in Metz, he arrived in Italy about 1602 and worked first in Rome in the studio of Balthazar Lawers, a follower of Paulus Bril and Agostino Tassi, from whom he acquired his propensity to fantasy and caprice. At a stage he moved to Naples which remained his base for the rest of his life. He may have worked in Florence at the court of Cosimo II, around 1619, and the continuing influence of Tassi and other painters of fantastic architecture like Viviano Codazzi perhaps suggests that he made a return visit to Rome in the early 1630s. De' Dominici records that his chief collaborator in Naples was the Greek Belisario Corenzio, but he also worked with the Dutchman Jacob van Swanenburgh and Didier Barra. The present picture is best regarded as a relatively measured and cautious exercise in fantasy by de Nom‚, probably datable to the mid 1620s. The liberties taken with the Libreria Marciana and the Palazzo Ducale, to present them almost as a pair, and the transformation of San Marco into a confection of the most mannered high Baroque can only be his, while the modest narrative elements in the foreground need hardly have necessitated a collaborator at all. Not known to have visited Venice, de Nom‚ presumably based this view on a print such as Sadeler's View of the Piazzetta. Several other Venetian subjects by de Nom‚ are recorded, including a larger Imaginary View of San Marco from the Bacino (private collection, England), which is thought to be the one listed in an inventory of the Florentine collection of the Del Rosso brothers, compiled in 1689 (see F. Haskell, Patron and Painters, London, 1971, p. 213).

Artist or Maker

Auction Details


January 24, 2003, 12:00 AM EST

20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10020, US