Despite surface dirt and other condition issues, a painting of Naples drew a dramatic bidding competition at a recent auction in Rome.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Alex Capon
Offered at Babuino Casa d’Aste on September 17, the view of the Palazzo Reale with red-coated soldiers was estimated at €800-1200 but was eventually knocked down at €122,000 (£108,000) plus 25% buyer’s premium.
The 2ft 1in x 3ft 4in (63cm x 1.02m) oil on canvas came from a local source and was catalogued simply as ‘Neapolitan painter, 18th century’. It had some restoration and had been relined.
It seems likely that bidders were speculating on the presence of a significant hand – perhaps Antonio Joli (1700-77), who settled in Naples in the last 20 years of his life and served as court painter to Charles VII. Another name suggested was Pietro Fabris (fl.1740-92) who specialised in Neapolitan scenes for Grand Tourists.