London Lantern

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The Grand Gallery at Partridge Fine Art

09/05/2008, By

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The Grand Gallery, is a major exhibition to be held at Partridge Fine Art Limited, 144-46 New Bond Street, London, in association with Whitfield Fine Art, London, from Wednesday 4th June to Friday 18th July 2008. It will celebrate the Grand Exhibition room in the heart of Partridge Fine Art and aims to echo the great exhibitions from the past held in venerable Bond Street old master galleries, now so infrequently.

There will be an exceptionally strong selection of Italian works from the 16th and 17th centuries with paintings by Titian, Correggio, Parmigianino, Pontormo, Guido Reni and the Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds. In addition there will be important works by Dutch, Flemish and French masters including, Van Dyck, Ter Brugghen, van Bijlert, Vernet and Vouet. Several of the paintings are important rediscoveries and rarely have such outstanding works been offered for sale in a gallery at one time. Partridge Fine Art and Whitfield Fine Art hope to bring back some of the splendor of the London season of exhibitions. The quality and importance of the work on view rival any museum collection.

‘Ours is one of the largest galleries in the West End and this space lends itself perfectly to an exhibition of this scale.’ Says Mark Law, Chairman Partridge Fine Art. ‘This exhibition is an important part of our summer schedule and, as we are no longer showing at a London fair, will draw art lovers to Partridge – a gallery primarily known for its fine furniture.’

‘Whitfield Fine Art are pleased to have the opportunity to exhibit on Bond Street. The area has had a long tradition of shows like this – which are, sadly, increasingly rare.’ says Clovis Whitfield. ‘We are excited about exhibiting these wonderful works to a new audience and bringing together such great names in single exhibition. The space is magnificent, and we have a collection that matches it perfectly.’

Among the highlights of the paintings for sale is an important Titian rediscovery of St Sebastian. Recently cleaned, it is a rare signed work by the artist that Professor Paul Joannides dates between 1530-35 when Titian first adopted the signature TICIANUS. It was most probably painted for the Duke of Mantua and has been in a private New York collection since it was last seen on the market in 1990 uncleaned.

Correggio's Head of Christ is a beautiful panel from this rare and coveted artist from Parma. It has just been requested for the major Correggio exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale in Parma in September 2008 - which will be the first monographic exhibition on the artist since 1935. This work is the first Correggio to come on the market since the picture from Firle Place that was sold to the Getty in the early 1990’s. It is a work of which a critic recently said, "to describe it as a masterpiece seems lame".

Saint Peter visiting Saint Agatha in Prison by the virtuoso French prodigy Simon Vouet (1590-1649), one of many artists who were influenced by Caravaggio. It has just been requested for the important exhibition Simon Vouet en Italie 1613-1627 , to be held at Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes and Musée des Beaux-Arts,Besançon 2008/09. Recently cleaned, this dramatic three-figure composition has now been revealed as a masterpiece from the artist’s early Caravaggesque period when he was at the height of his powers. It was probably painted for Francesco Barberini in Rome around 1624 and has been in private American collections since the 19th century. It was exhibited in the ground-breaking Caravaggio and His Followers exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1971, but has been little seen since then.

There is a major work by the Florentine Mannerist artist Jacopo Carucci, called Pontormo (1494-1556) Portrait of Francesca Capponi, as Saint Mary Magdalen, circa 1525-28. This portrait was exhibited for the first time in the Museo Capodimonte in Naples in 2006, and both Professor Janet Cox-Rearick and Dr Philippe Costamagna have now confirmed the attribution. It has recently been cleaned, removing an opaque varnish to reveal the artist’s characteristic vibrant brushstrokes. In his life of Pontormo of 1568, Giorgio Vasari describes this portrait of the young Francesca Capponi (b.1511) in the guise of Mary Magdalen. It was a small, domestic work painted for the bedroom of her father, the banker Ludovico di Gino Capponi, for whom Pontormo decorated the chapel in Santa Felicita between 1525-28.

A self portrait by Guido Reni (1575-1642) was painted when the artist arrived in Rome from his native Bologna. It is a fascinating document of the artist’s history because of an inscription and letter on the back of the canvas. The inscription states GVIDVS FIGLIVS DANIELVS RENI ET IVNIFERA DE POZZI PINXIT, whilst the letter details how Guido Reni painted the work when he was sporting a small moustache and later sends it to his engraver Bartolomeo Coriolano in the 1621, for delivery to the artist's mother, the only woman in his life.

4th June to 18th July
Partridge Fine Art
144-46 New Bond Street
London W1Y 0LY
+44 (0)20 7629 0834
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

Image 1 - 'Head of Christ' by Correggio
Image 2 - 'Solomon offering Incense to Pagan Gods' by Mattia Preti
Image 3 - 'Allegory of Peace' by Pellegrino Tibaldi

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