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Capriccio with Scenes of Life in a Seaport

Luca Carlevarijs1710/1715

Fondazione Cariplo

Fondazione Cariplo
Milan, Italy

The attribution to the Friuli artist is not disputed in recent studies, which do not, however, reconstruct the history of this work which is actually one of the most interesting examples of a capriccio with seaport. The scene is rigorously constructed: the coast describes an arc on the left where, in the foreground, a charming everyday scene with merchants entering and leaving the town with their pack animals is depicted; in the middle ground, there is the gate to the town with its high walls above which towers of varying heights and a church dome are visible. On the right, a nobleman seen from behind is giving orders to some sailors busy loading a boat, while two other men are fighting on board. Beyond them, we can make out ships in the roadstead and the hull of a boat being repaired. Therefore, we can say that this work belongs to the artist’s mature output, since it differs from the less skilled pieces from the early decades of his career. There are some persuasive cross-references between this work and a painting of a similar subject datable to around 1712 in the Unicredit Collections. Carlevarijs not infrequently executed pairs of paintings; it is also possible that the second canvas bears the signature, or at least the initials, of the artist, as did all his more important works. For example, the two Capricci signed and dated 1710, which are more or less the same size as the painting under examination, and recently came onto the market, first at Christie’s Montecarlo (20 June 1992, lot 19) then Christie’s London (13 December 1996, lot 82).

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  • Title: Capriccio with Scenes of Life in a Seaport
  • Creator: Luca Carlevarijs
  • Date: 1710/1715
  • Physical Dimensions: w131 x h87 cm (Without frame)
  • Inscription: On the back of the painting there is a partly-illegible old label which as well as attributing the work to Carlevaris and indicating the unlikely title “Two views of Venice”, gives its provenance as the Turnor Collection.
  • Exhibition: Palazzo Melzi d'Eril, via Manin, 23, Milano
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1999, Turnor Collection, Stoke Park, Grantham, Lincolnshire. The Turnors were an English noble family of landowners in Lincolnshire, and it was Edmund (1754–1829) and Christopher (1810–1886) in particular who built up a collection of important archaeological and antique works in their country house.
  • Type: Painting, oil on canvas
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

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