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    Sale 7610

    Important Old Master & British Pictures Day Sale Including Property From The Collection Of The Princely House Of Liechtenstein

    9 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 130

    Antonio Zanchi (Este 1631-1722 Venice)

    An Allegory of Time

    Price Realised  


    Antonio Zanchi (Este 1631-1722 Venice)
    An Allegory of Time
    oil on canvas
    57¾ x 86¾ in. (146.7 x 220.5 cm.)

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    Antonio Zanchi travelled to Venice at an early age, where he fell under the influence of Francesco Ruschi (active c. 1643-56) and, more significantly, Luca Giordano and Giovanni Battista Langetti, both originally from Genoa. Zanchi's works from the earlier part of his career betray a keen interest in Giordano's dramatic tenebrism, a style which suited his preference for violent subjects. His later works are often lighter in both subject and palette; the present painting, with its heavy chiaroscuro and somber tonality, seems to belong to the earlier part of the artist's career. The subject is an Allegory of Time: the personification of Time, an old man with a sickle, looms menacingly over a reclining male figure, whose youth cannot escape Time's inevitable advance. The heavily muscled torso is characteristic of Zanchi's figures, as is the reclining pose with raised arm, which reappears in several works. Interestingly, this dramatic gesture can also be compared to the figure of Truth in Sebastiano Ricci's Time Revealing Truth (Christie's, New York, 19 April 2007); it seems plausible that the pose in both paintings ultimately derives from similar figures by Giordano. Similar, too, is the compact perspective, with the figures straining against the confines of the canvas and all extraneous details eliminated. This narrow vantage point, together with the sober colouring and stark contrast of light and shadow, further heightens the sense of urgency and drama.

    We are grateful to Professor Ugo Ruggeri for confirming the attribution to Zanchi on the basis of photographs.

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    with Johann Querci, until 1819, when acquired from him by
    Johann I Josef, Prince of Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf (1760-1836), and by descent in the Garden Palace at Rossau (where recorded by Falke in 1873 and 1885, loc. cit.); at Schloss Eisgrub, Lednice, Bohemia, from November 1942 until October 1944, when moved to Schloss Moosham, Unternberg, Lungau, until February 1945, when moved to Schloss Vaduz, Liechtenstein, until the present.


    J. Falke, Katalog der Fürstlich Liechtensteinischen Bilder-Galerie im Gartenpalais der Rossau zu Wien, Vienna, 1873, p. 36, no. 291.
    J. Falke, Katalog der Fürstlich Liechtensteinischen Bilder-Galerie im Gartenpalais der Rossau zu Wien, Vienna, 1885, p. 34, no. 233.
    A. Kronfeld, Führer durch die Fürstlich Liechtensteinsche Gemäldegalerie in Wien, Vienna, 1931, p. 69, no. 233.