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    Sale 2237

    The Scholars Eye: Property from the Julius Held Collection Part I

    27 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 10

    Marcantonio Franceschini (Bologna 1648-1729)

    Latona turning the Lycian peasants into frogs

    Price Realised  


    Marcantonio Franceschini (Bologna 1648-1729)
    Latona turning the Lycian peasants into frogs
    pen and brown ink, grey wash, brown ink framing lines, the top arched and partly made up
    14 7/8 x 10 in. (378 x 254 mm.)

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    A developed study for the painting in the Liechtenstein Gallery, Vaduz, one of the cycle of mythological subjects commissioned by the Prince of Liechtenstein and painted between 1690 and 1710 (fig. 1). The painting is of regular rectangular format and does not have the same semicircular shaped top as the drawing. The composition is also known through a nineteenth century lithograph, where it was mistakely attributed to Simon Vouet.
    The subject derives from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book VI, lines 314-81). Latona, who had two of Jupiter's children, Apollo and Diana, was forced into exile by Jupiter's jealous wife Juno. While in the kingdom of Lycia she stopped to drink water from a pond and a group of peasants muddied the waters so she could not. Invoking the power of Jupiter, she punished them by transforming them into frogs.
    Dwight Miller lists six other drawings related to the painting, all of which are in two sketchbooks in Genoa and Bergamo (D. Miller, Franceschini and the Liechtensteins, p. 68).


    Baron Dominique-Vivant Denon (L. 779).
    François Alziari, Baron de Malaussena (L. 1887).
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 1 July 1969, lot 16 (180 gns. to O. Klein).


    D. Miller, Franceschini and the Liechtensteins; Prince Johann Adam Andreas and the Decoration of the Garden Palace at Rossau-Vienna, Cambridge, 1991, no. 1, pl. 8.
    D. Miller, Marcantonio Franceschini, Turin, 2001, pp. 283-4, no. D.3.