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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 255

    Giovanni di Niccolo Mansueti (active Venice, died before 1527)

    The Supper at Emmaus, en grisaille

    Price Realised  


    Giovanni di Niccolo Mansueti (active Venice, died before 1527)
    The Supper at Emmaus, en grisaille
    oil on panel, unframed
    29¼ x 49 in. (74.2 x 124.5 cm.)

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    Characterized by a finely hatched modelling and close attention to detail, the present work was exhibited in 1988-1989, with a full attribution to Mansueti. As Professor Peter Humfrey notes in the catalogue entry for the exhibition, stylistically it is very close to large number of signed works by the artist, and no doubt belongs to a moment in the second decade of the sixteenth century.

    A pupil of Gentile Bellini, whose influence is evident in the hushed suspense of this work, in his late works Mansueti often used motifs taken directly his master, for whom he seems occasionally to have worked as an assistant. The overall composition of this Supper at Emmaus, as well as a number of the individual motifs, seems to derive from a famous representation of the same subject by Giovanni Bellini that was recorded by Vasari as being in the palace of the Venetian patrician Giorgio Corner, and that was subsequently destroyed in Vienna by a late eighteenth-century fire.

    The grisaille technique lends a particular interest to the present picture, which possesses something of the proximity to invention that is typical of underdrawing. Such grisailles were a staple product of Venetian studios, another example of which is Bellini's Pietà with Maries and Apostles (Florence, Uffizi); Mansueti would also certainly have known Mantegna's Introduction of the Cult of Cybele at Rome (London, National Gallery), as it was installed in 1507 in the Venetian palace of Francesco Corner, Giorgio Corner's eldest son. Mansueti made his own version of the former subject, now in the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo.

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    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 7 July 1954, lot 153, illustrated.
    with Halcyon Gallery, London.
    with Colnaghi, London, by 1988.

    Pre-Lot Text



    S. Miller, 'Giovanni Mansueti: A Little Master of the Venetian Quattrocento', in Revue roumaine d'histoire de l'art (Serie Beau-Arts), XV, 1978, p. 101.


    London and New York, Colnaghi, Gothic to Renaissance: European Painting 1300-1600, 26 October 1988-28 January 1989, catalogue entry by Peter Humfrey.