News

book launch
Titian, the Della rovere dynasty, & his portrait of guidobaldo II and his son by Anne-Marie eze, Matthew Hayes, ian kennedy & ian verstegen

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The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce the publication of a new book, filled with new research on one of our paintings, Titian’s Portrait of Guidobaldo II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, and his Son Francesco Maria II.

 

The book discusses the double, full-length portrait, that due to thorough analysis and restoration, and an in-depth study of the sitter has now been fully attributed to Titian. In this book, Matthew Hayes and Ian Kennedy elaborate on the technique, date, restoration and authorship of the painting, whilst Ian Verstegen explores Guidobaldo’s central position in Italian politics. Anne-Marie Eze gives a comprehensive account of the painting’s provenance, presenting new documentary evidence on the painting’s near 500-year history.

 

Titian, the Della Rovere Dynasty, & His Portrait of Guidobaldo II and his Son is available for purchase here.

 

The Klesch Collection

 

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Acquisition
Adam de coster – a boy serving a glass of wine to a man with a lighted candle

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The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce their acquisition of A Boy Serving a Glass of Wine to a Man with a Lighted Candle, by the Flemish Baroque painter Adam de Coster.

 

In Anthony van Dycks’ Iconography, De Coster is described as a pictor noctium (“painter of nights”), and this picture is a fine example of this candlelight painter’s small oeuvre. The closely framed scene is lit by a single flame, reflected in the man’s captivating eyes, which casts vivid shadows defining the figures’ bold facial features and details of their dress. It is not known if Adam de Coster ever visited Italy, but he was undoubtably heavily influenced by the Caravaggesque style that disseminated across Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Particularly relevant are the works by the Northern Caravaggisti such as Hendrick ter Brugghen and Gerard van Honthorst, as well as Georges de La Tour, who all became famous for lighting their compositions by means of one artificial light source, such as the candle in this picture.

 

Adam de Coster (Malines 1586 – Antwerp 1630)
A Boy Serving a Glass of Wine to a Man with a Lighted Candle
oil on canvas

69 x 51 cm
c. 1620

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Acquisition
Georges de la tour – saint andrew

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The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce their acquisition of Saint Andrew by Georges de La Tour, one of the last pictures by the artist remaining in private hands.

 

Painted by the most important French exponent of Caravaggism in the seventeenth century, the picture was part of the famous series of Albi Apostles, mainly known through copies. This Saint Andrew is only one of six paintings of the thirteen original canvases that are known today. La Tour’s Saint Andrew shows a wonderful balance of innate humanity – depicting not a glorified saint, but rather a credible and identifiable figure – and intense spirituality. The Saint stands in front of the crux decussata on which he was crucified, staring at the book in his hand in meditative stillness. Whilst painted early in La Tour’s career, the strong chiaroscuro is already a protagonist here, seen in the folds of the saint’s mantle, creating a sculptural and monumental figure.

 

Georges de La Tour (Vic-Sur-Seille 1593 – 1693 Lunéville)
Saint Andrew
oil on canvas
62 x 50.5 cm
c. 1620

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Acquisition
Jan Davidsz. de heem – a banquet still life

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The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce their acquisition of A Banquet Still Life by Jan Davidsz. De Heem, the most celebrated still-life painter of his day.

In this opulent piece, De Heem flaunts his technical virtuosity on a grand scale, elaborately depicting a contrasting play of textures, surfaces and colours, making this one of his finest and most important still lifes. De Heem painted it when he settled back in Utrecht in the mid-1660s, when he moved away from the looser Flemish Baroque style to a more polished technique with a greater affinity for detail. The painting was on loan to the Centraal Museum in Utrecht for nearly 70 years, which makes it one of the most extensively researched and published still lifes, featuring in twelve international exhibitions.

Jan Davidsz. de Heem (Utrecht 1606 – 1684 Antwerp)
A Banquet Still Life
oil on canvas

139.2 x 115.1 cm
mid-1660s

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Acquisition
Michelangelo Merisi da caravaggio – portrait of a gentleman, bust-length

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The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce its most important acquisition to date, Portrait of a Gentleman, Bust-Length, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painted c. 1604-1606. It is one of only a handful of paintings by Caravaggio in private hands.

 

Currently, Caravaggio is one of the most sought-after artists in the world, yet few works, especially portraits, are known today, many being lost or fallen into obscurity. While elegantly subdued, this portrait has all the compelling characteristics of Caravaggio. It demonstrates his pictorial efficiency in the precise use of highlights and clear purpose of every brushstroke, particularly evident in the sitter’s glistening eyes and the geometric collar. The bright ruff effectively emphasizes the sitters head and piercing gaze, pervading his self-assured and calm demeanour. Echoing the collar, Caravaggio uses the accent cuff to draw attention to the life-like flesh of the hand in the foreground.

 

Mina Gregori was the first to recognise Caravaggio’s authorship of this painting, and published it in an article in Corriere de la Serra on 27 June 1993 and subsequently in her book Caravaggio in 1994. Her attribution was soon endorsed by the other leading Caravaggio scholars. In line with The Klesch Collection’s disciplined acquisition strategy, we engaged several Caravaggio scholars to view the painting and provide The Klesch Collection with an attribution report. We are pleased to say all scholars concurred that the painting is by Caravaggio.

 

Caravaggio’s exceptional portrait introduces us to a gentleman whose story is yet to be uncovered. During its previous private ownership of nearly 25 years, the painting has never been exhibited or studied by scholars first hand. The portrait is not only a remarkable addition to his oeuvre, but also opens an intriguing new line of research into Caravaggio’s artistic practice, which The Klesch Collection is proud to support and explore.

 

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Caravaggio 1571 – 1609 Porto Ercole)
Portrait of a Gentleman, Bust-Length
oil on canvas
74.3 x 58.8 cm. (29.2 x 23.1 in.)
c. 1604-1606
Media contact: contact@thekleschcollection.com

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Acquisition
Rachel Ruysch – Still Life of Flowers, with Butterflies, Insects, a Lizard and Toads, beside a Pool

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The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce their recent acquisition of Still Life of Flowers, with Butterflies, Insects, a Lizard and Toads, beside a Pool by Rachel Ruysch, one of the greatest still life artists of the Golden Age. This painting reflects the earliest period of Ruysch’s career, when she specialised in so-called ‘nature pieces’. One of only fifteen sottobosco (forest floor) still lifes she painted, it is clearly influenced by the inventor of the genre, Otto Marseus van Schrieck (1613-1678), and demonstrates the increased interest in naturalia among collectors, artists, and scientists, brought about by the invention of the microscope. She may have even used moss as a tool to stipple on the mossed foreground and applied real butterflies to the paint surface, following Schrieck’s technique. Ruysch was the first female Netherlandish artist to win international recognition during her own lifetime and was the first woman to join the Guild of Saint Luke in The Hague.

Rachel Ruysch
(The Hague 1664 – Amsterdam 1750)
Still Life of Flowers, with Butterflies, Insects, a Lizard and Toads, beside a Pool
oil on canvas
Signed and dated (lower left): Rachel Ruysch / 1687

91 x 61.5 cm

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Acquisition
Francesco salviati – portrait of Marcus aurelius

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The Klesch Collection is delighted to announce the recent acquisition of a Portrait of Marcus Aurelius by the Italian mannerist painter Francesco Salviati.

This newly discovered portrait of a young bearded man, 
with a neatly coiled head of hair, was the first painting of a proposed set of twelve portraits of Emperors commissioned around 1540 by Alfonso d’Avalos, commander general of the Imperial forces in Italy, emulating the famous series painted by Titian between 1538-1540 for the Duke of Mantua. This portrait of Marcus Aurelius was sent to Alfonso d’Avalos as an example of Salviati’s skill, but unfortunately, the full set was never made. The highly-arched expressive eyes are typical of Salviati’s mannerist style, and the monumental proportions of Marcus Aurelius’ arms and hand, as well as the sculptural power of the armour all’antica, are evident of Salviati’s inspiration from classical statues.


Francesco Salviati

(Florence 1510 – Rome 1563)
Portrait of Marcus Aurelius
oil on canvas

126 x 93 cm. (49.6 x 36.6 in.)
c. 1540

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