GIULIO ARISTIDE SARTORIO (Italian, 1860-1932)
    Ruins, Tiahuanaco, 1924
    Oil on canvas board
    16 x 18 inches (40.6 x 45.7 cm)
    Signed, dated, and inscribed by artist upper right: Bolivia, Tiahuanaco Lerovine, G.A. Sartorio MCM XXIV


    Despite his passion for American painting, Graham Williford had catholic tastes in art which occasionally resulted in rather remarkable acquisitions outside the usual scope of his collection. This painting of the pre-Columbian ruins of Tiahuanaco in the Bolivian Andes by the Roman painter and film director Giulio Sartorio is one such acquisition. In the later phase of a celebrated artistic career as a Symbolist painter and friend of the English PreRaphaelites, as one of the finest late 19th-century painters of the Roman Campagna with its ancient ruins and friend of poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, and a prize-winning decorative painter, Sartorio explored the Middle East, Japan and Latin America during the 1920s. In Bolivia he was profoundly inspired by the Tiahuanaco ruins, the oldest sacred center of Andean region (an earlier name of the site was taypicala, meaning the 'rock in the center'). Traditionally it is thought to have been built by the predecessors of the Inca Civilization. Some of the massive structures at this site, like the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx in Egypt and Baalbek in Lebanon, date from pre-flood times, as long ago as 10,500 BC. Originally a coastal empire and now twelve miles from the coast of the sacred Lake of Titicaca, Tiahuanaco was the source of the creation myths, the social order, and the extraordinary preoccupation with astronomy that underwrote thousands of years of Andean culture. In the present work, Sartorio places in foreground of his composition the mysterious figurative Stela 8, and shows the ruins of the Kalasasaya temple off to the right.

    Condition Report*:

    Under UV examination painting is quite clean. Only evidence of restorations are inpaint along upper margin of canvasboard to address frame abrasion; a quarter-sized spot on inpaint in lower right quadrant and a 1-inch x 2-inch area of inpaint near the top of the tall stone on the far right side. Framed Dimensions 21.5 X 22.5 Inches

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Requires 3rd Party Shipping (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2013
    11th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 648

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 20 days left to consign to the 2018 March 10 - 11 Estates - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I have to say I am very pleased with the final results and Heritage Auctions service.
    Philip M.,
    Truckee, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 October 13 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,098,328