Bust of Maria Cerri Capranica

Object Details

Title:

Bust of Maria Cerri Capranica

Artist/Maker(s):

Attributed to Alessandro Algardi (Italian, 1598 - 1654)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1640

Medium:

Marble

Dimensions:

90 x 61.3 x 29.2 cm, 114.76 kg (35 7/16 x 24 1/8 x 11 1/2 in., 253 lb.)

See more

See less

Befitting a young noblewoman, Maria Cerri Capranica is dressed in a velvet gown with an elaborate lace collar. Her elegant outfit is complemented by an array of jewelry–a long strand of pearls, a necklace set with precious stones, a pendant with a small relief of the Holy Family, and pearl drop earrings. The sitter was clearly a woman of status and affluence, and the sculptor depicted her with a powerful and distinctive psychological presence.

The fine details of the sitter's costume, jewelry, and hairstyle display a true mastery of marble carving. Maria Cerri's intricate coiffure–a mass of curls ornamented with loops of satiny ribbon–falls gracefully around her face. Algardi sculpted the delicate lace mantle in low relief with subtle contours that reveal how the garment fell around the sitter's shoulders. The strand of pearls, which weaves across the sitter's chest and around her sash, is carved entirely in the round. The attention given to her lace and jewelry makes this as much a portrait of her accessories as of the subject herself.

Married in 1637, Maria Cerri and Bartolomeo Capranica were from prominent Roman families. A coat of arms identifying both families appears at the base of the sculpture. Maria Cerri died at the age of twenty-five in 1643.

Provenance

Possibly Lewis et Simmons, French (Paris, 622 place Vendôme, France)

- 1936

Sir Robert Henry Edward Abdy, fifth Bart., 1896 - 1976 (Newton Ferrers, Callington Cornwall, England) [sold Sotheby's London 28 May 1936 lot 34 to William Permain]

1936 -

Mr. William Permain, English (London, England), sold to William Randolph Hearst.

before 1939

William Randolph Hearst, American, 1863 - 1951 (Saint Donats Castle, Wales)

by 1952 - 1953

Mary Bellis, English (Charnham Close, Hungerford, Berkshire (England)), sold to Leggatt Brothers, London England, 1953.

- 1953

Leggatt Brothers (London, England)

by 1964 -

Charles de Beistegui, Spanish

- 1999

Carlos de Bestegui (Chateau de Groussay, France) [sold, Sotheby's, Chateau de Groussay, 3 June 1999, lot 460, to Daniel Katz, Ltd.]

1999 - 2000

Daniel Katz Ltd. (London), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000.

Exhibitions
Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture (August 5, 2008 to March 8, 2009) (5.7)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 5 to October 26, 2008
  • National Gallery of Canada, (Ottawa), November 28, 2008 to March 8, 2009
Bibliography

Granville Fell, H. "Some topics of the moment." Connoisseur 103, no. 451 (March 1939), p. 165, ill. (as "marble bust, possibly of Isabella Celsi, Italian mid-seventeenth century, collection of W.R. Hearts, Esq.").

Mary Bellis advertisement. Connoisseur 130, no. 528 (November 1952), p. XXXVII, ill. (as Italian marble bust of a lady, possibly Isabella Celsi, early 17th. century).

Lockhead, Stuart, ed. Daniel Katz: European Sculpture, exh. cat. (London: Daniel Katz Ltd., 2000), no. 32, entry by Johannes Auersperg (as "Giuliano Finelli, portrait of a young noblewoman, Isabella Celsi de Capranica).

Fagiolo dell'Arco, M. Berniniana. Novità sul regista del Barocco (Milan: Skira, 2002), p. 59, fig. 24 (as "Isabelli Celsi di Capranica" by Giuliano Finelli, ca. 1627).

Levkoff, M. L. "The little-known American provenance of some well-known European sculptures." In La sculpture en Occident. Etudes offertes à Jean-René Gaborit. Geneviève Bresc-Bautier ed. (Dijon: Faton, 2007), pp. 295-303, p. 295 and 303, fig.1 (as bust of an aristocratic lady, attributed to Giuliano Finelli).

Bacchi, Andrea, Catherine Hess and Jennifer Montagu, eds., with the assistance of Anne-Lise Desmas. Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 222-225, no. 5.7, ill. p. 222 and 224, entry by Andrea Bacchi and Catherine Hess (as "Portrait of Maria Cerri Capranica, attributed to Giuliano Finelli, ca. 1640")

Bacchi, Andrea, Catherine Hess and Jennifer Montagu, eds., with the assistance of Anne-Lise Desmas. Bernini et la naissance du portrait sculpté de style baroque, exh. cat. (Ottawa: Musée des Beaux-Arts du Canada, with J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 222-225, no. 5.7, ill. p. 222 and 224, entry by Andrea Bacchi and Catherine Hess (as "Portrait of Maria Cerri Capranica, attributed to Giuliano Finelli, ca. 1640")

Bacchi, Andrea and Catherine Hess. "A proposed attribution to Alessandro Algardi: Maria Cerri Capranica at the J. Paul Getty Museum." Sculpture Journal 20.2 (2011), pp. 117-127, fig. 1, 4 (as ca. 1640).