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Jacopo Bassano (1515 - 1592)

Lot 74: Laban and his Flock


July 12, 2007
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item


Jacopo da Ponte, called Jacopo Bassano (Bassano del Grappa c. 1510-1592) and Studio Laban and his Flock oil on canvas 51 x 76 in. (129.5 x 193 cm.) in a carved and gilded frame

Artist or Maker

Jacopo da Ponte, called Jacopo Bassano (Bassano del Grappa c. 1510-1592) and Studio


John de Pesters, sold Prestage's, 1-2 April 1756, lot 33 (60 gns. to William, 5th Earl of Dumfries).


This picture was acquired by Lord Dumfries in 1756 and was described in Prestage's catalogue as a work by 'G. Bassano: A Market, a Capital Picture'. The receipt for the purchase of the painting remains in the Dumfries papers. The prime original of Bassano's depiction of The Journey of Jacob, is in the Royal Collection, Hampton Court. The subject was one favoured by the artist, enabling him, according to Carlo Ridolfi, to paint 'views of the nearby mountains through which shepherds are wont to travel, driving their flocks and herds from the mountains to the grazing pastures, as is the custom of the people of Vicenza and Bassano, putting on the backs of donkeys and horses, pots, cauldrons, bundles, little children and paraphenalia of their trade' (see L. Whitaker and M. Clayton, The Art of Italy, London, 2007, exh. cat., p. 220). It is also thought to have been the type of work favoured by English buyers (ibid.).

Adam's original elevations for the Dining Room clearly reveal that a larger picture was originally intended to be inset within the Palladian pedimented frame, with its central Bacchic mask. Presumbaly nothing suitable was forthcoming, and Lord Dumfries instead resorted to buying the Bassano in the de Pester sale, along with the bust of Bacchus (lot 14) and several pieces of ormolu-mounted porcelain (lots 17 and 39). It is possible that Mr. de Pesters assembled his collections or 'cabinet of china' in the capacity of a gentleman dealer or marchand-mercier. It was William Mathie who was commissioned to supply the 'Frame wt rich ornaments in Burnished Gold for a Large Picture in the East End of the Dining Room' to embellish the gap between the picture and Adam's architectural outer frame in 1760.

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Dumfries House

July 12, 2007, 12:00 PM EST

London, United Kingdom