Carlton Hobbs, the eminent international antiques dealer, and Jean- Luc Baroni, one of the leading international fine art specialists, are pleased to announce that an exhibition entitled “In the Grand Manner,” will open on January 22 to February 2, 2010 at the Carlton Hobbs Gallery, 60 East 93rd Street, in New York. Baroni will present approximately thirty-five rare and highly important old master paintings and drawings, from the 16th to the early 20th centuries, some on view for the first time in the United States.
“We are delighted to welcome Jean-Luc Baroni to our gallery and can hardly wait to see the superb pieces he has selected to exhibit here during Old Master Week in New York” said Carlton Hobbs. “This is the first time we have lent a large part of our gallery to a dealer from a different discipline, but believe that we will provide the perfect setting for Mr. Baroni’s stunning collection. We will carefully select pieces from our own inventory to complement the old master works.” Amongst these will be an extraordinary and, according to Lucy Wood, “pioneering” early neoclassical giltwood armchair attributed to Ince & Mayhew, presumably from a group at Bramshill Park; a highly important overmantel mirror with the frame attributed to Thomas and René Pelletier; and a pair of giltwood console tables almost certainly commissioned for Schloss Seehof.
“I am privileged to have the opportunity to show my works of art in a gallery of such stature and prominence,” said Baroni, whose gallery is based in London. Baroni plans to show works by Parmigianino, Zuccaro, Beccafumi, Ricci, Maratta, Delacroix, Piazzetta, Gandolfi, Boldini, Salviati, among others.
One of these masterpieces is the ‘Portrait of a Lady as ‘Flora’ by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Venice 1696 – 1770 Madrid) Oil on canvas, 88 x 70 cm. This superb painting by the leading Italian artist of his generation, was recently discovered in the attic of the French Chateau where, at some point in time it had been put into storage, as a picture too osé to hang among the more austere ancestral portraits. Forgotten for over 200 years, the picture has come to us in remarkable condition, unlined, and preserving all of its thick impasto and vibrant brush strokes. This stunning picture is on par with two other celebrated pictures dating from around 1762, just before the artist’s departure to Spain: Portrait of a Young Lady with a Parrot in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the Portrait of a Lady with a Mandolin in the Detroit Institute of Art. The three pictures are believed to belong with a series of mezze figure di donne (half-length female figures) which were commissioned by the Empress Elizabeth of Russia.
Another work is Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Ludovico Carracci (Bologna 1555-1619) Oil on canvas, 114 x 151 cm. This magnificent painting, whose provenance goes back to 1632, was discovered in 2006 by Aidan Weston Lewis at Knole in Kent, where it had been in store, unrecognized, since 1674. Recently, the picture has undergone careful restoration, which has revealed a painted surface in superb state of preservation. It has a characteristic late 17th century frame from a model that was also used for a number of other pictures in the same collection at Knole.
One of the most poetic achievements of the Bolognese Master, this painting illustrates a scene from the story of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, a tale narrated in Ovid’s Metamorphosis: The nymph Salmacis fell in love with Hermaphroditus, the son of Venus and Mercury. While bathing in her river he rejected her advances. But Salmacis appealed to the Gods, who fused their bodies. The artist has chosen to depict the moment in which the nymph falls in love at the sight of Hermaphroditus and prepares to dive into the waters to seduce him.
Also on show will be a most intriguing ink drawing by Giovanni-Francesco Barbieri, called Il Guercino (Cento 1591 – Bologna 1666) A Group of Spectators, probably at a Bullfight, peeping through a fence. This unique drawing with its surprising subject could well represent spectators catching a glimpse at a bullfight. It is stylistically datable to the 1630s, when bullfighting was still widely spread in Italy too. In fact, this cruel spectacle has a roman origin, and it is thought that the Romans actually introduced it into Spain. In 1567, Pope Pius V issued a Papal bull which forbade the fight of bulls, and which eventually brought about prohibitions against bullfighting throughout Italy. It was not until the 19th century, however, that bullfighting disappeared altogether in Italy.
About Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd:
Jean-Luc Baroni belongs to the third generation of a family of connoisseur art dealers. The family business first opened in Paris in 1919, and moved to Florence in 1967. In 1982, Mr. Baroni went into a 20 year long partnership with the eminent British firm Colnaghi. He now works with his daughter, Novella Baroni, from his gallery in St. James’s, London. Mr. Baroni has long been established as a specialist in fine paintings and drawings by Old and Modern Masters. The gallery holds regular exhibitions, produces substantial catalogues that are fully researched and illustrated and participates in a number of International Art Fairs including Maastrict and events such as the Master Drawings Week in London and in New York, and the Salon du Dessin in Paris. Alexandra Chaldecott, who worked in the Old Master Drawings Department at Sotheby’s for more than a decade, contributes to the team. As part of the service offered by the gallery, Jean-Luc Baroni uses his extensive experience to advise clients on establishing, augmenting and maintaining their private collections.
Amongst the many museums and private collections which have acquired paintings and drawings from Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd. are The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Saint Louis Art Museum; The Los Angeles County Museum; The British Museum, London; The National Gallery of Art, London; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; The Pinacoteca Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino; The Musée des Beauts Arts, Lille; The Musée du Louvre, Paris.
About Carlton Hobbs LLC:
Carlton Hobbs is a noted independent dealer in rare antique furniture and historic objects. Founded in 1973 and headquartered in New York, in the former Vanderbilt Mansion, 60 East 93rd Street, the firm acquires researches and sells antiques to museums and discerning clients throughout the world.
Carlton Hobbs has previously participated at a number of other prestigious art and antique fairs, including: The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, The Antiques and Arts Paris Biennale, The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, London, The Winter Antiques Show, New York, The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, New York, American International Fine Arts Fair, Palm Beach.
Some of the world’s leading museums and private collections now house Carlton Hobbs’ pieces including, amongst others: The Musée du Louvre, The John Paul Getty Museum, The Rijksmuseum, The National Gallery of Australia, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Musée des Beaux Arts, Dijon, The Bowes Museum, Paxton House, The National Gallery of Greece.
Carlton Hobbs is located at 60 East 93rd Street, between Madison and Park Avenues in New York. Exhibition hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6:00 PM. For more information, call 212-423-9000 or visit www.carltonhobbs.com