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Flora and Zephyr

Jacopo Amigoni (Italian, Venice 1682–1752 Madrid)

Date:
1730s
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
84 x 58 in. (213.4 x 147.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rudolph and Lentilhon G. von Fluegge Foundation Inc. Gift, 1985
Accession Number:
1985.5
  • Gallery Label

    The Venetians, Sebastiano Ricci, Giovanni Pellegrini, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and Amigoni all worked throughout Europe, achieving international reputations. A number of Amigoni's best pictures were painted for clients in England, where he worked between 1729 and 1739. This picture, which celebrates the coming of spring in the union of Zephyr with Flora, is one of a pair dating to his English period. The pendant, now in a private collection, shows Venus and Adonis.

  • Catalogue Entry

    Forthcoming

  • Provenance

    ?Harding (by 1804–5; sale, Christie's, London, June 22–23, 1804, no. 64, as companion to no. 63, "Adonis going to the Chace", for £7.7, bought in; sale, Christie's, London, February 1–2, 1805, no. 78, as "Flora and Zephyr", for £5.15 to Sudeley); ?Charles Hanbury-Tracy, later 1st Baron Sudeley, Toddington Manor, Gloucestershire (from 1805); ?Mr. Parker's assignees (until 1835; sale, Christie's, London, July 4, 1835, no. 99, as "Flora and Zephyr, the companion picture" [companion to no. 98], by Amigoni, for £8 to Turner); the Ward-Boughton-Leigh family, Brownsover Hall, Rugby (until 1984; sale, Christie's, London, April 6, 1984, no. 15, as "Cupid and Psyche," for £97,200); [Leger Galleries, London, 1984–85; sold to MMA]

  • Exhibition History

    Venice. Museo del Settecento Veneziano-Ca' Rezzonico, Gallerie dell' Accademia, and. Palazzo Mocenigo. "Splendori del Settecento veneziano," May 26–July 30, 1995, no. 23.

  • References

    Apollo 120 (October 1984), p. 13, ill. (color), in an advertisement for the Leger Galleries, calls it "Flora and Zephyr" and dates it about 1732.

    Venetian Eighteenth-Century Painting. Exh. cat., Thos. Agnew & Sons Ltd. London, 1985, p. 6, under no. 1, refers to it as "Cupid and Psyche".

    Keith Christiansen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1984–1985. New York, 1985, pp. 26–27, ill., notes the influence of Correggio and also mentions that the picture anticipates Boucher's mature Rococo style.

    Leslie Hennessey. Letter to Keith Christiansen. June 20, 1985, dates it during Amigoni's stay in England (1729–39), about 1732, when he was also working at Moor Park.

    Master Paintings: Recent Acquisitions. Exh. cat., Thos. Agnew and Sons Ltd. London, 1989, p. 4, under no. 1.

    Important Paintings by Old Masters. Christie's, New York. January 11, 1991, p. 98, under no. 54.

    Leger Galleries. Leger: A Century of Art Dealing, 1892–1992. London, 1992, pp. 24–25, ill. (color).

    Annalisa Scarpa Sonino. Jacopo Amigoni. Soncino, 1994, pp. 80, 82, no. 11, ill. p. 83 (color), calls it and its pendant, Venus and Adonis (whereabouts unknown), typical of Amigoni's English period, comparing them with his Jupiter and Io made for Moor Park; discusses the subject, deciding that Flora and Zephyr is more likely than Cupid and Psyche.

    Giorgio Fossaluzza in Splendori del Settecento veneziano. Exh. cat., Ca' Rezzonico, Venice. Milan, 1995, p. 138, no. 23, ill. pp. 40 (detail) and 139 (color).

    Rodolfo Pallucchini. La pittura nel Veneto: il Settecento. 1, Milan, 1995, p. 113, colorpl. 161.

    Old Master Paintings / Evening. Sotheby's, London. December 5, 2007, p. 168, mentions it in the entry for another version of this subject by Amigoni; mistakenly implies that this picture's former pendant [see Notes] is also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection.

    Important Old Master and 19th Century Paintings from the Collection of J. E. Safra. Sotheby's, New York. January 26, 2011, pp. 34, 36, fig. 1 (color), under no. 11, adds to the early provenance of the two pendants.

    Old Master Paintings and Sculpture. Sotheby's, New York. January 26, 2012, p. 122, under no. 192.

    The Libertine: The Art of Love in Eighteenth-Century France. New York, 2013, ill. p. 255 (color).



  • Notes

    The pendant depicting Venus and Adonis (sold, Sotheby's, New York, January 26, 2011, no. 11) remained with the present picture until 1984, when the two works were sold by the Ward-Boughton-Leigh family.

    Ref. Scarpa Sonino 1994 illustrates two additional versions of this subject by Amigoni, both in private collections (nos. 7 and 8). The artist also made an etching of the subject ["The Illustrated Bartsch," Abaris Books, New York, vol. 47, 1983, p. 459, ill.].

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