Jacopo di Cione Painting to Sell at Sotheby’s After Restitution Deal – ARTnews.com
A restored 14th-century Gothic painting of the Madonna and Child by Italian painter Jacopo di Cione will be auctioned in New York at the end of the month as part of a settlement agreement between the estate of its late owner and the work’s heir.
Sotheby’s will auction the di Cione painting, which is from the collection of Hester Diamond, the late New York art patron and interior designer who passed away on January 29th last January as part of his Masters Week, during which the house had a series of sales from offers art and antiquities of old masters. The work is expected to raise between $ 300,000 and $ 500,000. The sale of the painting is based on a legal agreement with the Diamond Estate and the heir of August Liebmann Mayer, a well-known German-Jewish art historian and curator who was killed in Auschwitz in 1944.
On the subject of matching items
As a specialist in Spanish and Italian art of the 16th and 17th centuries, who acted as chief curator of the Bavarian State Collection of Paintings and taught at the University of Munich in the years before the Second World War, Mayer acquired the soon-to-be auctioned di Cione works from the well-known Berlin dealer Paul Cassirer sometime after 1927.
Mayer resigned from his curatorial position in 1931 and finally fled to France in 1935, although he had been arrested by the Nazis two years earlier. During his time in Paris, Mayer continued to work as an art historian under the pseudonym Henri Antoine, but was still subject to Nazi persecution in France and fled Paris to the French countryside several times until he was arrested and deported in 1944. In May 1942 Mayer’s Paris residence was the Nazi art looting organization confiscated by the ERR (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg) and part of its holdings, including its extensive library, were sent to Berlin.
Part of Mayer’s collection was sold through the Hugo Helbing auction house in Munich in November 1933, including the famous 16th-century painting Still Life with Wild Fowl by Juan Sánchez Cotán, which is now in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. It is unclear whether di Cione’s work was sold during this auction.
“We don’t know exactly how or when the Jacopo di Cione left the Mayer collection,” said Lucian Simmons, vice chairman and global director of Sotheby’s restitution, in an email to ARTnews. “We only know that it was after 1927.”
The di Cione work reappeared after the war as part of the Pardo collection in Paris from 1966 to 1968. (The possession of Pardo was uncovered during Sotheby’s research on the di Cione to be put on the market for upcoming sale. Further details about the collection are not known.) The small altarpiece was sold at Christie’s London for 55,000 GBP sold ($ 101,706) in 1988, then attributed to the master of the Ashmolean predella. Diamond then acquired the factory privately in 1989 through dealers Harari and Johns, Ltd. The reassignment to di Cione was recently provided by scholar Larry Kanter.
August Liebmann Mayer.
Courtesy of Sotheby’s
In the present case, Sotheby’s served as the liaison between the Diamond Estate, represented by Bill Charron, a partner of Pryor Cashman LLP, and Mayer’s heir, his daughter Angelika B. Mayer, who lives in California. The two parties have reached an agreement with unspecified conditions to bring the work up for auction. The work by di Cione is not the first work from the Mayer collection to be returned. In 2015, Angelika Mayer was given a portrait of Giovanni Battista Moroni from the 17th century, which was kept by the Louvre Museum for decades. In 2016, the Bavarian State Library in Munich returned three books confiscated from Mayer to his daughter; She then donated the titles to the library and in 2010 the Bavarian State Painting Collection returned four found works to the Mayer family.
Sotheby’s recently saw a number of restituted lots that outperformed, which could be the case with this work by di Cione. During the Rembrandt to Richter hybrid live-stream sale in July, a salvaged 16th century cash register depicting a battle scene by Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello cost £ 2.4 million ($ 3.3 million), versus an estimate of £ 600,000 – $ 800,000 – setting a new reference price for the artist. Like the present work, the Uccello was sold under an agreement between the owners and the heirs of Fritz Gutmann.
In October, Sotheby’s announced plans to sell Diamond’s collection of old masters and contemporary art, valued at a total of $ 30 million. Diamond originally began collecting modern and contemporary art with her husband Harold. However, after Harold’s death in 1982, she focused on old masters. A longtime benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the di Cione painting is one of several diamonds awarded to her by the Met during her lifetime. During an extensive trip to China in 2006, Diamond loaned the present work to the museum, along with a selection of others from their holdings, said Maryan Ainsworth, retired curator of the museum’s European painting department.
When the di Cione altarpiece, once owned by Hester Diamond, reaches its high estimate of $ 500,000, it will be among the top three works by the Renaissance artist ever to be auctioned. The current record price for the artist is $ 965,000 when a similar Madonna and Children’s panel from the fashion designer Fabrizio Moretti’s collection was sold at Sotheby’s New York in January 2015.
Other works on sale on January 29 at Sotheby’s include Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s painting Autumn (1616), valued at $ 8 million and $ 12 million and poised to break the artist record. a 16th century triptych by the Flemish master Pieter Coecke van Aelst, valued at $ 2.5 to $ 3.5 million; and two paintings by the 16th century Italian Renaissance artist Giovanni di Niccolò de Lutero (also known as Dosso Dossi), commissioned for an Italian nobleman and also sold from the Diamond collection. Both are valued at $ 3 to 5 million.