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Francesco Ubertini (1494 - 1557)

Lot 17: FRANCESCO UBERTINI, CALLED BACHIACCA | The Baptism of Christ

Sotheby's

December 9, 2015
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item


Description

oil on poplar panel

Dimensions

58 by 40.7 cm.; 22 7/8  by 16 in.

Medium

oil on poplar panel

Condition Report

The following condition report is provided by Sarah Walden who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Francesco Ubertini, Bachiacca. The Baptism of Christ. This painting is on single piece of poplar, which seems to have settled into a stable, slight, long term curve. There is no sign of stress or cracks, nor of any raised flakes, past or present. The craquelure is minute, even and fine throughout, all suggesting a peaceful early background and past history. Past worm damage has, unusually, penetrated the paint surface in some places, and little worm holes are almost the only trace of damage to be found having affected the painting. Tiny circular retouched worm holes can be seen under ultra violet light with a few scattered in the lower sky, occasionally in the central figures, for instance one or two on Christ's arm and on the arm and pink drapery of St John, with an isolated one or two further from the centre, one in the pink drapery of the figure on the left. The group of figures on the left is in especially beautiful condition, as is the figure on the right taking off his shoe, with the only hint of faint wear to be found in the deeper red drapery of St John, and perhaps slightly in the hair of the kneeling angels. Elsewhere throughout; the sky, the foliage of the trees, even the delicate detail of the distant central tree against the sky, the luminous water in the foreground, and fragile shadows of the figures, all is miraculously pure and intact. A rare Florentine Renaissance painting which has survived in virtually perfect condition, and reflects the technique and profound impact of Flemish painting . This report was not done under laboratory conditions.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Exhibited

King's Lynn, The Fermoy Art Gallery, A Collection of the Nineteen-Sixties, 22 July – 5 August, 1972, no. 2.

Literature

J.P. Richter, The Mond Collection, London 1910, vol. II, p. 445 ff., reproduced plate 18;
G. Frizzoni, 'La Raccolta Mond ed opere attinenti alla medesima', in Rassegna d'Arte, 1910, vol. XI, p. 46;
C.J. Ffoulkes, 'Richter, Il Catalogo Mond: volume II,' review in L'Arte, vol. XV, 1912, p. 272;
A. McComb, 'Francesco Ubertini (Bacchiacca)', in The Art Bulletin, vol. VIII/3, 1926, p. 165;
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Oxford 1932, p. 36;
B. Berenson, Pitture Italiane del Rinascimento, 1936, p. 30;
R. Salvini, in U. Thieme and F. Becker (eds.), Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildendden Kunstler von der Antike biz zur Gegenwart, vol. XXXIII, Leipzig 1939, p. 522; 
H.S. Merritt, Bacchiacca Studies (according to Nikolenko, 1966);
The Use of Imitation, Princeton, 1958;
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School, London 1963, vol. I, p. 20;
F. Abbate, 'L'Attività giovanile del Bachiacca (fino al viaggio romano del 1524-5)', in Paragone, vol. XVI/189, November 1965, p. 40;
L. Nikolenko, Francesco Ubertini called Il Bacchiacca, New York 1966, pp. 17, 47–48, reproduced fig. 37;
G. Agnew and E. Joll, A Collection of the Nineteen-Sixties, exhibition catalogue, King's Lynn 1972, p. 6, cat. no. 2;
C.D. Colbert, Bachiacca in the context of Florentine Art, Ph.D., Harvard University 1978, p. 43;
R.G. La France, Francesco d'Ubertino Verdi, il Bachiacca, 1494–1557: 'Diligente Dipintore', Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University 2002, cat. no. 14;
R.G. La France, Bachiacca. Artist of the Medici Court, Florence 2008, pp. 169–70, cat. no. 28, reproduced plate XIX.

Provenance

Count Enrico Costa, Florence (before 1892);
Dr. Ludwig Mond (1839-1909), London, 1892;
Thence by descent to his grandson,Henry Ludwig Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett (1898–1949);
Thence by inheritance to his wife, (Amy) Gwen, Lady Melchett (d. 1982), whom he married in 1920;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 24 March 1965, lot 96, for £16,000 to Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd.;
With Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., London;
From whom acquired by the late father of the present owner. 

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