18th century portrait of Caterina Cornaro depicted as Saint Catherine of Alexandria making her auction debut at the Cypria Fine Art Sale
Nicosia – Cypria is delighted to announce the auction debut of a magnificent 18and century portrait of Catherine Cornaro represented as Saint Catherine which is based on the original painting by Titian, at his Fine Arts evening sale, to be held on 25and of May at Gallery K Nicosia.
Dated 1542, the original masterpiece by Titian (Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio) is today in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The painting depicts the last monarch of the Kingdom of Cyprus (r.1474-89) in beautifully beaded purple silk robes with gold embroidery and gold trim. She wears a golden crown adorned with pearls and precious stones. The wheel, depicted in the lower right in the background, was one of the attributes of the martyrdom of Saint Catherine.
Titian’s portrait of Caterina Cornaro was one of many paintings done on the young Queen of Cyprus – Bellini is also known to be among the artists who painted her.
The work touched millions of people who visited the Uffizi, Florence. This portrait after Titian, which now adorns the auction room of Gallery K, also has an ornately carved giltwood frame that creates a dramatic union with the painting. “It’s a perfect marriage,” says Ritsa Kyriacou, Chief Art Consultant and Managing Director of Cypria Fine Art Auctions. “The majestic, yet thin and delicately sculpted setting that the painting inhabits brings out the vivid intensity of the portrait, adding a whole new layer to the experience.”
The portrait was created in the 18and century and its provenance goes back to a private collection in Brussels. In 2002 the current owners (UK private collectors) commissioned a full and detailed report. University College London (UCL) was commissioned to analyze the layer structure, materials and paint pigments, concluding that the painting was created in the mid 18and century. The detailed 5-page report can be made available by Cypria upon request. A recent x-ray used to further explore the artwork revealed a seamless condition with no trace of restoration work.
Highlights from Cypria’s May 25 Evening Sale also include Copenhagen Harbor by Jean Altamoura (1852 – 1878), one of the great Greek pre-impressionists. This deeply mystical painting restores the metaphysical atmosphere of the seas of Northern Europe with a sublime shift towards the spirit of Greek light. (Estimate: €25,000-45,000). The remarkable Still life with grapes by the Greek impressionist Pericles Pantazis (1849 – 1884) is also notable for its exquisite greens and sweeping brushstrokes creating a dance-like motion. (Estimate: €10,000-15,000). Among the great Cypriots, Christoforos Savva (1924 – 1968) is very well represented with the Agios Sozomenos in Galata (white church) standing out for its clear forms and its play of whites. (Estimate: €17,000-30,000).
Rare and historical books also feature prominently in this season’s sales. Highlights include the first edition of History of the Knights of the Order of S. John of Hierusalem – (History of the Knights of the Order of S. John of Jerusalem) by Jean Baudoin & Anne de Naberat from 1629. The 500 year old book is richly illustrated containing 4 large copper engraved maps one of which is the extremely rare map of Cyprus “Isle de Cipre”, which was engraved by H. Raignauld and designed to illustrate the presence of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem on the island after their expulsion from the Holy Land in 1291. The book and the map are offered in the same lot (Estimate: €4,200-6,500). Highlights also include an extremely rare book from Alexander Palma di Cesnola’s collection of Cypriot antiquities. Collection of Lawrence Cesnola, Cypriot Antiquities, excavated by Major Alexander Palma di Cesnola, 1876 – 1879 is signed by the author and contains photographs of the objects in the collection and a photograph of a map of Cyprus. It contains 38 typographic sheets, the majority with printed English text. On 34 of these sheets, there is a handwritten translation in Italian which would be by Cesnola himself. (Estimate: €13,000-20,000).
The 25thand of the May Evening Sale puts 145 lots on the market. The collection includes key artistic works from the 19and greats of the century to contemporaries in demand. The sale represents various art movements and features iconic players in Greek, Cypriot and European art such as Zoe Zengelis, Andreas Charalambides, Dimitris Mytaras, Apostolos Yayannos, Pavlos Samios, Stelios Votsis, Renos Loizou, Kostis Georgiou, Spyros Vassiliou and more Again. The collection also includes prints, lithographs, serigraphs, maps, woodcuts, copperplate engravings and more.
The entire collection will remain on display until 25and of May at Galerie K. The sale will also be broadcast live worldwide via the international art sales platform invaluable.com