• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 7783

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours Day Sale

    9 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 114

    Circle of Gentile Bellini (Venice ?1429-1507)

    Portrait of Doge Cristoforo Moro (1390-1471), bust-length, in profile

    Price Realised  


    Circle of Gentile Bellini (Venice ?1429-1507)
    Portrait of Doge Cristoforo Moro (1390-1471), bust-length, in profile
    oil on canvas
    25 x 16 in. (63.5 x 40.7 cm.)
    with the sitter's family arms (lower left and lower right)

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    Cristoforo Moro was the 67th Doge of Venice, elected in 1462, and the 11th person from his family to be elected doge. His official portrait by Gentile Bellini was unfortunately destroyed by the fierce fire that destroyed Palazzo Ducale in Venice, in 1577. This painting is therefore an important document, since his features are recorded only by what is thought to be a later copy of the destroyed portrait, in the sacristy of San Giobbe (illustrated in F. Heinemann, Giovanni Bellini e i belliniani, III [Supplemento e ampliamenti], Hildesheim, Zurich and New York, 1991, p. 112, fig. 193). This picture was probably purchased by Edward Cheney (1803-1884), who resided for many years in Italy, and made numerous acquisitions in Venice.

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    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Edward Cheney, Badger Hall, Shropshire; (+) Christie's, 29 April 1885, lot 118, as 'G. Bellini' (35 gns. to David).
    Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery and 1st Earl of Midlothian, K.G., P.C. (1847-1929), and by descent at Mentmore Towers to,
    Albert Edward Harry Meyer Archibald Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery and 2nd Earl of Midlothian (1882-1974); (+) Sotheby's, on the premises, 25 May [= 7th day of sale] 1977, lot 2435, from the Napoleon Room, as 'Venetian School, 16th Century - Portrait of Doge Lodovico Moro' (sold £3,200).


    London, New Gallery, Venetian Art, 1894-5, no. 63.