Tarquin the Elder Consulting Attius Navius

Object Details


Tarquin the Elder Consulting Attius Navius


Sebastiano Ricci (Italian, 1659 - 1734)




about 1690


Oil on canvas


163.2 × 141.3 cm (64 1/4 × 55 5/8 in.)

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During the war between the Romans and the Sabines in about 290 B.C., Tarquin, king of Rome, challenged Attius Navius, a fortuneteller, to read his mind. When Navius declared that Tarquin's thought would be accomplished, Tarquin revealed that he thought Navius would cut a whetstone in half with a razor, which he did immediately. Sebastiano Ricci took this subject from Livy's History of Rome,first published in A.D. 14, but he showed Navius cutting a column, a more aesthetic object.

Ricci pared the composition down to its dramatic essentials--two large figures making eloquent gestures--and added a recognizable setting and bystanders to create a sense of community. The slightly shadowed mother and child is a typical Ricci motif. Effectively employing the usual Roman Baroque sense of dramatic light and color, he adopted Giovanni Battista Gaulli's strong, rather hot colors for the costumes and the sky. He also adopted the characteristic faces of the child and the man on the extreme left from Gaulli.

- 1801

Count Girolamo Manfrin, died 1801 (Palazzo Venier-Priuli-Manfrin, Venice, Italy), by inheritance to his son, Pietro Manfrin, 1801.

1801 -

Pietro Manfrin (Venice, Italy), by inheritance to Giulia-Giovanna Manfrin-Plattis.

- about 1848

Marchesa Giulia-Giovanna Manfrin-Plattis, died 1848, by inheritance to Bortolina Plattis-Sardagna, about 1848.

about 1848 - 1897

Marchesa Bortolina Plattis-Sardagna (Venice, Italy) [sold, Plattis-Sardagna (Manfrin) sale, Sambon, Milan, March 24, 1897, lot 1.]
Source: "Pinacoteca Manfrin a Venezia" (1872).

- 1961

Private Collection [sold, Bukowski, Stockholm, November 8-9, 1961, lot 219.]

- 1972

Otto Kaufmann (Strasbourg, France)

- 1972

and F. Schlageter (Strasbourg, France) [sold, Kaufmann and Schlageter sale, Sotheby's, London, July 12, 1972, lot 92, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Venise au dix-huitième siècle (September 21 to November 29, 1971) (212; lent by O. Kaufmann, Strasbourg)
  • Musée de l'Orangerie (Paris), September 21 to November 29, 1971
Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 26 to March 30, 1973)
  • California State University (Northridge), February 26 to March 30, 1973

Catalogo de'Quadri esistenti nella Galleria della Nobile Signora Marchesa Plattis in Venezia, manuscript catalogue. (copy at National Gallery, London: 1851).

Catalogo dei Quadri esistenti nella Galleria Manfrin in Venezia. (Venice: 1856), no. 148.

Nicoletti, G.A. Catalogue of the Manfrin Collection. (1872), no. 1.

van Derschau, Joachim. Sebastiano Ricci (1922), pp. 150-51, no. 32.

Pallucchini, Rodolfo. "Il settecento veneziano all'Orangerie." Arte Veneta, vol. 25. (1971), p. 324.

"Aste." Antichita Viva 11, no. 3. (May/June 1972), p. 68.

Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum, exh. cat. (Northridge: California State University, 1973), pp. 26-27, no. 34, ill.

Daniels, Jeffrey. Sebastiano Ricci (Hove: Wayland Publishers, 1976), pp. 69-70, no. 219, fig. 135.

Daniels, Jeffrey. L'Opera completa di Sebastiano Ricci (Milan: Rizzoli, 1976), p. 90, no. 45.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 106, ill.

Scarpa, Annalisa. Sebastiano Ricci (Milan: Bruno Alfieri Editore, 2006), pp. 22, 233-34, no. 259, fig. 107.

Borean, Linda. "Il caso Manfrin." In Il collezionismo d'arte a Venezia. Il Settecento. Eds. Linda Borean & Stefania Mason (Venezia: Fondazione di Venezia, with Marsilio Editori, 2009), p. 201; ill. p. 196, fig. 6; p. 232, pl. xxxiv.