ANTONIO JOLI (MODENA C. 1700-1777 NAPLES)
ANTONIO JOLI (MODENA C. 1700-1777 NAPLES)
ANTONIO JOLI (MODENA C. 1700-1777 NAPLES)
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ANTONIO JOLI (MODENA C. 1700-1777 NAPLES)
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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
ANTONIO JOLI (MODENA C. 1700-1777 NAPLES)

Rome, a view of the Piazza del Popolo; and Rome, a view of the Tiber with the Ponte and Castel Saint'Angelo with Saint Peter's Basilica and the Vatican beyond

Details
ANTONIO JOLI (MODENA C. 1700-1777 NAPLES)
Rome, a view of the Piazza del Popolo; and Rome, a view of the Tiber with the Ponte and Castel Saint'Angelo with Saint Peter's Basilica and the Vatican beyond
oil on canvas
21 7/8 x 38 5/8 in. (55.6 x 98.1 cm.), each
a pair
Provenance
Thomas Henry Allen Poynder (1814-1873), Hartham Park, Wiltshire, by 1855, when Poynder took a fifteen-year lease of Hartham from Lord Methuen, by descent to his grandson,
Sir John Dickson-Poynder (1866-1936), Bt., later 1st Baron Islington, GCMG, GBE, DSO, Hartham Park, Wiltshire, until 1922, then probably at Rushbrooke Hall, Suffolk, by descent to his widow,
Anne Dundas (1869-1958), later Lady Islington, Rushbrooke Hall, Suffolk, then possibly at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, by descent in the family until,
[Property of a Private Collection]; Sotheby's, London, 7 July 2005, lot 50, where acquired by the present owner (£848,000).
Literature
Messrs. Winkworth & Co., 12 Curzon Street, Mayfair, W, An Inventory of the Fixtures, Furniture, Pictures, Ornaments & Effects upon the Premises, Hartham, Corsham, Wiltshire. The Property of The Right Hon.ble Lord Islington, MS. dated August 1910, II, p. 405.
R. Toledano, Antonio Joli, Modena 1700-1777 Napoli, Turin, 2006, pp. 170, 175, nos. R.VIII.24 and R.IX.5, both illustrated (the latter erroneously reproduced in reverse).

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John Hawley
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Lot Essay

The View of the Tiber with the Castel Sant'Angelo was among Joli's most popular subjects, and the artist returned to the vista on numerous occasions, each time altering the viewpoint slightly and varying the staffage (see M. Manzelli, Antonio Joli opera pittorica, Venice, 1999, pp. 89-93, nos. R.1-22, figs 54-63 and pls. XXVI-XXVIII). One feature that remains constant in almost every treatment of the view is the little boat with two seated figures, appearing lower center, its gondolier propelling them steadily downriver. The yacht punctuating the foreground at lower left, however, is a curious, invented addition, since its tall masts would never have allowed it to pass beneath the arches of the ancient Ponte Sant’Angelo. Most unusual, though, is Joli's decision to pair this View of the Castel Sant’Angelo with the View of the Piazza del Popolo, an extremely popular subject among most vedutisti but one rarely treated by Joli himself. He painted the piazza as part of his commission for a set of views of Rome and Venice for Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, and then again on only one further occasion, a signed and dated canvas of 1759, formerly with Galleria Apolloni, Rome (ibid., p. 96, nos. R.39 and R.40). When he published the present pair in 2006 (loc. cit.), Ralph Toledano dated them to shortly after his move to Naples, around 1760.

Though nothing is known of this pair’s early provenance, their matching English gilt frames, which date to around 1840, suggest they may have been destined for a British patron from their conception. Panoramic views of well known Roman sites were precisely the kind of pictures that appealed to British aristocrats visiting Italy as part of their Grand Tour, commissioned and collected during their travels. By the eighteenth century, the Grand Tour had become an indispensable, final component of a European classical education. It was a luxury of the elite, designed to complement the schooling of young wealthy men, who could learn firsthand from the artistic, architectural and historical treasures of the classical world. Travelers often began their journeys in England and would frequently travel through France before continuing to Italy, passing through Florence, Naples and Venice, and usually concluding in Rome. A Grand Tourist would typically devote one to two years to their trip, though in some cases this journey of discovery could last as many as six years. Travelers would often be accompanied by a tutor, and were encouraged to return not only with a sound understanding of the cultures, economies, histories and politics of the places they visited, but also with souvenirs of their journey, often in the form of antiquities or contemporary works of art.

The first record of these views by Joli appears in August 1910, when they were included in the manuscript inventory of the Right Honourable Lord Islington at Hartham Park, Wiltshire. The paintings were erroneously given to Vanvitelli and listed as hanging in the drawing room: 'Pair of oil paintings by G. Vanvitel 1647/ in massive carved gilt frames/ *“Dagli Occhiali”/ “Views of Rome”' (loc. cit.). Sir John Dickson-Poynder inherited Hartham Park in 1888, and the paintings may then already have been in situ among the house’s fixtures. Hartham had been leased in 1855 from Lord Methuen of Corsham Court by Poynder's grandfather, Thomas Henry Allen Poynder. Sir John Dickson-Poynder was a distinguished politician. In 1884, he became 6th Baronet and assumed the additional surname of Poynder, having inherited his grandfather’s property. The Poynder family owned large swaths of land in Wiltshire, presumably prompting Poynder’s decision to settle there at Hartham Park. In 1896, he married Anne Dundas and, in 1910, was created Baron Islington of Islington and appointed Governor-General of New Zealand, a post he held for two years. Lord and Lady Islington maintained Hartham until 1922. They held further residences in Sussex and London, and purchased Rushbrooke Hall in Suffolk to save it (albeit only temporarily) from demolition. Lady Islington was greatly admired as a 'leader of fashionable taste' and belonged to a group of women known as 'The Lady Decorators’. Upon Poynder’s death on 6 December 1936, she inherited her husband’s collection of paintings, and this pair remained in the family until they were acquired in 2005 by the present collector (loc. cit.).

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