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    Sale 1961

    Old Master And 19th Century Drawings

    24 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 29

    Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino (Cento 1591-1666 Bologna)

    Esther and Ahasuerus

    Price Realised  

    Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino (Cento 1591-1666 Bologna)
    Esther and Ahasuerus
    pen and brown ink, brown wash
    3½ x 4 1/8 in. (82 x 105 mm.)


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    Related to the painting commissioned before 1637 by Cardinal Lorenzo Magalotti, Bishop of Ferrara, now in the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (see L. Salerno, I dipinti del Guercino, Rome, 1988, no. 180). Magalotti bequeathed the painting to Pope Urban VII Barberini, and it remained in the Barberini family until it was purchased by the Duke of Northumberland in the second half of the eighteenth century.
    Four securely attributed drawings are connected to the painting of Esther and Ahasuerus. A partial study was sold at Sotheby's, London, 23 March 1978, lot 157, and two drawings of Ahasuerus were sold at Christie's, London, 23 November 1976, lot 11, and 11 April 1978, lot 49. A drawing of Esther supported by her attendants is at Christ Church (J. Byam Shaw, Drawings by Old Masters at Christ Church, Oxford, Oxford, 1976, no. 997, pl. 603).

    Provenance

    By descent in the family of the artist's nephews Carlo and Benedetto Gennari, Bologna, until after 1719, with associated mount (L. 2858c).
    Francesco Forni, Bologna.
    John Bouverie (circa 1723-50), to his sister
    Anne Bouverie (d. 1757), to her husband
    John Hervey (d. 1764), to their son
    Christopher Hervey (d. 1786), to his aunt Elizabeth Bouverie (d. 1798), surviving sister of John Bouverie, to
    Sir Charles Middleton, later 1st Baron Barham (1726-1813), husband of Elizabeth Bouverie's childhood friend Margaret Gambier, to his son-in-law
    Sir Gerard Noel, 2nd Baron Barham (1759-1838), to his son
    Sir Charles Noel, 3rd Baron Barham and later 1st Earl of Gainsborough (1781-1866), and by descent to
    The Earl of Gainsborough.
    Annonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 24 January 2001, lot 38.