A Beautiful Painting by Beinaschi Joins the Louvre

1. Giovanni Battista Beinaschi (1636-1688)
Christ Humiliated
Oil on canvas - 120 x 170 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : D. R.

23/1/14 - Acquisiton - Paris, Musée du Louvre - The Musée du Louvre has just acquired a very beautiful 17th century painting (ill. 1), an unusual addition as this had not happened for a very long time. This is of course not a purchase as the museum had abandoned any attempt at adding to this collection many years ago - for some unknown reason -, but rather a donation through Acceptance in Lieu.

Born and trained in the Piedmont region of Italy, Giovanni Battista Beinaschi then traveled to Rome where he underwent the influence of Lanfranco, before continuing on to Naples where he remained for eight years, from 1664 to 1672.
This Christ Humiliated, the first painting by this artist to join the collections at the Louvre, is strongly marked by the art of Luca Giordano (notably the figure on the left) and that of Mattia Preti. The composition and luminism reflect a late Caravaggism (we have here an example from the second half of the 17th century, no doubt shortly before the painter’s death in 1688).

2. Bernardino Mei (vers 1615-1676)
Samson and Delilah
Oil on canvas - 216 x 185 cm
Galerie Sarti
Photo : Versailles Enchères

We should point out that beautiful 17th century Italian paintings frequently come up for auction and that these are often major works by artists not represented in the Louvre. We offer just one example but many others can be found : a Samson and Delilah by Bernardino Mei (ill. 2), sold at Versailles Enchères on 14 April 2013 for 324,670€ (including charges). It was purchased by a leading Parisian art dealer (Giovanni Sarti) and had no trouble obtaining its export licence. There is little chance that it might one day join the Louvre unless it is purchased by a French collector who then decides to donate it or leave it in Acceptance in Lieu...

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Didier Rykner, jeudi 23 janvier 2014

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