December 01 — 06, 2018
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET
Follower of Guido Reni (1575-1642) (Late 17th Century)
Lot 934 Details
Follower of Guido Reni (1575-1642) (Late 17th Century), Italian Baroque
PENITENT SAINT MARY MAGDALENE WITH A HALO LOOKING UPWARDS
Oil on late 17th Century canvas, relined in the 19th Century. Contained In a Baroque frame.
23.6 x 18 in — 60 x 45.7 cm
Ex. Coll. Jerome Alexander (d. 1950’s), New York City, purchased in Italy, possibly in Florence, in the 1920’s as a “Titian”, later opined to be by a “Follower of Titian”;
By descent in the family from their grandfather to the present Private Collection, Oakville, Ontario
Titian (1488-1576) explored the half-length figural prototype, characterized by an intimacy, of a close-up view of its subjects. He depicts his subjects cut off and appearing immediately behind the frame, presenting the sitter directly to the beholder. Titian developed a type of image informed by classical restraint as well as by a gentle sensuality such as his classical painting of Flora painted in 1515 held in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
This fashionable theme also inspired a number of other artists including Guido Reni (1575-1642), to whom this portrait more closely aligns. Reni’s, “Saint Mary Magdalene”, circa 1634-1635, in the National Gallery, London, with her head held upwards in ecstasy and her hand held closer to her chest, appears to be a more likely model of inspiration to the artist who painted this lot in the late 17th Century.
This subtly moving portrait of Mary Magdalene has been with the family for nearly 100 years. By descent from the consignor’s grandfather in New York, it has hung in the grandson’s Canadian residence for some 68 years. Her presence has provided him much pleasure. He states: “It is a lovely and subtly moving piece of work which expresses deep and poignant feelings with powerful understatement. Now in his elder years, he remarks: “I am more strongly attracted to this picture than to many of the pictures of Mary Magdalene painted by well known artists, including Tiziano (’Titian’)”.