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    Sale 1986

    Important Old Master Paintings Part I And Part II

    15 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 41

    Valerio Castello Genoa 1624-1659

    The Adoration of the Magi

    Price Realised  


    Valerio Castello Genoa 1624-1659
    The Adoration of the Magi
    oil on canvas
    48 x 37 3/8 in. 122 x 95 cm.

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    During his short but prolific career Valerio Castello seems to have been particularly attracted by the themes of the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Adoration of the Kings. He painted numerous easel works with these two scenes from the New Testament. These were evidently destined for his wealthy Genoese clientele but, despite his numerous private commissions, Castello never repeated himself. However, it is interesting to note how, in a few versions of the Adoration of the Magi, a central group of figures keeps returning with minor variations. These are the Madonna and a kneeling King who is offering a golden vessel to the Child, as shown in the present canvas. These Adorations, now all in private collections, testify to the exceptional success of this composition (C. Manzitti, op. cit., nos. 154-59, pp. 163-66). Unlike many of Castello's other Adorations, the figures in the present painting are large. The result is a carefully finished work and not a bozzetto, as has been pointed out by Camillo Manzitti. The scholar, praising its high quality and elaborate execution, has dated this canvas to about 1650, at the peak of Castello's successful career.

    Special Notice

    No sales tax is due on the purchase price of this lot if it is picked up or delivered in the State of New York.

    Pre-Lot Text



    P. Pagano et al. eds., La Pittura del '600 a Genova, Milan, 1988, fig. 215.
    A. Orlando, Stefano Magnasco e la cerchia di Valerio Castello, Milan, 2001, p. 38, fig. 47.
    C. Manzitti, Valerio Castello, Turin, 2004, p. 165, no. 157, illustrated.