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    Description

    Venetian School, circa 1540-70
    A portrait of a gentleman, three-quarter length, wearing a fur-trimmed cloak, holding a rolled document in his left hand
    Oil on canvas
    34-1/2 x 24 inches (87.6 x 61.0 cm)
    Inscribed in upper left quadrant in Greek letters by a later hand: Domenicos Theotokopulos / Epoie.

    PROPERTY OF A TEXAS MUSEUM

    PROVENANCE:
    Acquired in Munich by an American collector in 1932 as El Greco;
    Newhouse Galleries, New York (label preserved verso, inv. nos. 61995/60661) as of December 1978 as El Greco;
    Mr. William L. Moody III (1892-1992), San Antonio, Texas, December 1978, acquired from the above as El Greco;
    Gift of the above to the present owner on December 12, 1978 as El Greco.

    In this striking portrait, the masterful modeling of this gentleman's head, his authoritative presence and pose, and the sumptuous rendering of his velvet sleeves point to the work of a Venetian artist of the middle decades of the sixteenth century. Certainly a skillful portraitist in the circle of Leandro Bassano would be a likely author for a work of such assurance.

    Over the past 86 years, this portrait has lived under an illogical attribution to El Greco, owing in part to the presence of an apocryphal signature to the left of the sitter's head, and to the written expertise provided in 1931 by noted German art historians Hermann Voss (1884-1969) and August L. Mayer (1885-1944). Mayer, a very competent and conscientious scholar, published several books on El Greco, including his major work, Dominico Theotocopuli, El Greco, Munich, 1926, as well as numerous articles. However, and quite significantly, Mayer chose never to publish this portrait as El Greco, nor has anyone else. He must have had reservations about it, which more modern connoisseurship has borne out. The painting is devoid of the stylistic idiosyncrasies that distinguish El Greco's efforts from the greater Venetian portrait tradition he had absorbed as a young man working in Venice.




    Condition Report*: Wax-lined canvas, with recent stretchers. Under UV light there is an old, heavy varnish layer which makes it difficult to read all restoration, however there are small areas of inpaint and strengthening noticeable in the figure, particularly to the fur trim of his cloak, his beard and scattered in the background. Paint is thin overall.   Framed Dimensions 44 X 33.5 X 2.5 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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    24th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,062

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