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    Sale 7609

    Important Old Master & British Pictures Evening Sale

    8 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 1

    Albertino Piazza da Lodi (Lodi 1490-1528/9)

    The Madonna and Child with a goldfinch

    Price Realised  

    Albertino Piazza da Lodi (Lodi 1490-1528/9)
    The Madonna and Child with a goldfinch
    with inscription '1654 DEL CONTE DI ROVELLO DON.GIO:N I DLLA PORTA. L'anno.M.D.C.L.I.V. Pittura del Luino. CHE SI LASCIA IN PERPETVA PRIMOGENITVRA Per essere un quadro insigne, di Vecchio di Casa' (on the reverse)
    oil on panel
    11¾ x 9¼ in. (31.8 x 23.5 cm.)


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    Traditionally attributed to Luini, this panel was recognised as by Albertino Piazza by Andrea de Marchi: Mauro Natale and Marco Tanzi independently concur. Professor de Marchi proposed a date close to the Galliano polyptych of 1520 in the church of S. Agnese at Lodi, while Professor Tanzi also dates the picture 'verso 1520', noting that it is possibly a fragment. With his elder brother Martino (c. 1475/80-1530), with whom he frequently collaborated, Piazza was the dominant painter of their city, Lodi. This workshop was continued by Martino's son, Callisto, whose son Fulvio was in turn to be a painter. In this mature work, Piazza parallels the course of his most refined Lombard contemporaries, notably Cesaro da Sesto.

    The Commune of Rovello, now in the provincia of Como, was granted as a feudal possession to Giovanni della Porta in 1649, to whom this painting belonged. The Commune remained the fief of the family until 1763, when a later Giovanni della Porta, Count of Rovello, died.

    The Marchesa Casati (1881-1957), who owned the picture more recently, was a spectacular social figure, painted and photographed by many leading artists of her time, and associated with several outstanding dress designers and jewellers. She knew, entertained and was entertained by many of the most gifted people of her time, including Nijinsky, Picasso, Colette and Chanel. Her affair with the Italian Nationalist writer Gabrielle d'Annunzio was widely publicised. The substantial fortune she inherited was not enough to finance the Marchesa's tastes. The forced sale of her collection in 1932 marked a new phase in the Marchesa's life and she moved to London.

    Special Notice

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    Provenance

    Giovanni della Porta, Conte di Rovello, by 1654 (according to the inscription on the reverse; see fig. 1).
    Contessa Piccolomini (according to a label on the reverse).
    Luisa Casati Stampa di Soncino, Marchesa di Roma, and by descent to the present owner.