Crescent City to auction Spanish Old Master painting, July 23
NEW ORLEANS – A recently discovered and undocumented Old Master painting, St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus, from the school of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo comes to auction in New Orleans at Crescent City Auction Gallery on Saturday, July 23, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com. The baroque painting portrays St. Joseph as a young father and the baby Jesus as a toddler holding a branch of lilies.
According to David J. Goldberg, the appraiser who discovered the painting in a private collection in New Orleans, the oil on canvas bears the characteristics of a 17th-century work of art. It is painted on a fine broad weave canvas, probably better than most of the period. The painting appears to have been relined and the support stretchers replaced sometime during the 19th Century. The overall size of the oil painting is 49 x 32 inches (124.46 cm x 81.28 cm).
Its provenance, as denoted by a label to the stretcher, is Rev. Canon A. Silva-White (possibly of Spanish heritage), St. Peter’s Vicarage, Sunderland, England. It is thought to have been deaccessioned circa 1968 and then purchased by a private collector before passing to the collection of a Mandeville, Louisiana collector in 1985.
St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus carries a conservative presale estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.
The symbolism in the painting – a humble carpenter protective of his earthly son, with broken pillars in the background – resonates with clarity. It is precisely this simplicity in portraying sacred motifs that made Murillo’s works sought after by royal families and wealthy collectors throughout Europe and England during the 17th and 18th centuries.
An icon of Spanish baroque art, Murillo changed the way artists painted religious figures. His works are included in collections of El Prado in Madrid, the Vatican Museum and many other museums throughout the world.
At the time, expertise in the Murillo style was so highly desired by other artists that, in 1660, Murillo helped found a school in Seville, Spain. He served as its first president while continuing to take private commissions. Paintings in all categories by Murillo are collected by museums, Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Art Collection among them, and have sold at major auction houses.
From patron saint of carpenters to patron saint of fathers and the Universal Church, St. Joseph is an important figure in all the Christian faiths. St. Joseph’s Day is celebrated by Anglicans, Lutherans and the Eastern Orthodox Church. It stands in as Father’s Day in Spain, Portugal and Italy.
St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus is an appealing subject for private collectors, museums, churches and hospitals.
The baroque Old Master painting is fittingly featured in a Crescent City Auction sale that contains property from the estate of John W. O’Keefe, vurator of the New Orleans Museum of Art.
St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus is on view at Crescent City Auction Galleries, 1015 Julia Street, New Orleans from Thursday, July 14 through Friday, July 22 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. There will be a late evening preview on Wednesday, July 20 until 8:00 p.m.
The auction will be conducted on Saturday, July 23, live and online at LiveAuctioneers.com, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Central time.
For more informaton or a condition report, contact Adam Lambert at 504-529-5057 or David Goldberg at 504-282-7611 or by email at email@example.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE