Public viewing: Nicosia 29 November – 1 December 2021, THE CLEOPATRA HOTEL, Nicosia
Queen of Cyprus Caterina Cornaro and her sister Cornelia (€24.000 – 35.000) is a masterful double portrait painted in the second half of the 16th century possibly by an apprentice at one of the studios of the Great Renaissance Masters in Venice. In the beginning of the 20th Century experts believed the portrait to be an authentic Tiziano but in the course of the century it became evident that such an opinion could no longer be sustained. Although similarities exist between the said portrait with portraits by Tiziano, Veronese and Tintoretto it has not been established that this is an autograph work of any one of the three Masters. Therefore the mystery of the portrait’s painter remains unresolved.
Its provenance on the other hand is traced back to the 19th century when it belonged to the heir of the French throne, Ferdinand d’ Orleans. Eventually it was acquired by Henry Doetch, a German born businessman and financier, Art Gallerist and Collector of paintings by the Great Masters. It remained in Doetch’s family until the beginning of the 21st Century. The painting was acquired by its present owner at an auction in Germany.
Queen of Cyprus Caterina Cornaro and her sister Cornelia will be offered at auction on the evening of the 1st of December at the Cleopatra Hotel in Nicosia. The 30th Psatharis Auction will feature a total of 143 artworks, mostly paintings and sculptures. A rare edition that merits special attention is Tristram James Ellis’s The Folio of 12 Etchings of the Principal Views & Places of Interest in Cyprus (est €9.000 – 12.0000). A preview of the artworks to be offered at the auction will be held during November 29 – December 1, at the Cleopatra Hotel in Nicosia.
The auction will be live streamed through the international digital platform www.invaluable.com offering the opportunity to collectors anywhere in the world to place on-line bids. The house also offers telephone and written bidding options.
A Peasant Woman rests next to the Haystack (€14.000 - 22.000) is a painting by Greek Theodore Ralli (1852-1909) whose paintings began to fall out of obscurity in the beginning of the 21st Century fetching prices that were tenfold those of the earlier years. Ralli had shot to prominence in the art scene of 19th century Paris but after his death he was slowly forgotten. In the 20th century only a few of his paintings were auctioned obtaining modest prices. In 2007, however, his study for the painting Refectory in a Greek Monastery (1885) was auctioned at €200.0000 euros at Sotheby’s in London. A year later the painting itself was auctioned in 2008 in Belgium for the record price of €670.000 euros.
''Markets around the world are hunting for re-evaluated talent and rediscovered artists,'' says Nicos Psatharis, founder of Psatharis Auctions. ''The talent and the calibre is there and the trend for rediscovered artists is peaking up around the world.''
The Young Drinker (€7.500 - 13.000) by Pericles Pantazis (1849-1884) is another important acquisition, which will be auctioned on the 1st of December. The painting was formerly in the Collection of Jean Renard (1875 – 1938), one of the most important collectors of Belgian Art of the late 19th century. From then on, the painting was in private collections.
On the loom €24.000 – 35.000) by Cypriot naïf Michael Kashalos is expected to command top investment interest together with Expectation by Alecos Fasianos (€14.000 - 20.000), Composition by Alekos Kontopoulos (€7.500 – 12.000) and Huts in the Village by Yiannis Spyropoulos, (€7.500 - 13.000). Of particular interest are the paintings At the Quay in Romantzo, Ormidhia (€6.500 – 10.000) by Lefteris Economou and Landscape with Almond Trees (€6.500 – 9.000) by Tilemahos Kanthos.
Highlights also include White birds on a red background (€5.500 – 9.000) by Thanos Tsingos, Figure (€5.000 –7.000) by Dimitris Mytaras, Portrait (€3.000 – 5.000) by Nikolaos Kounelakis and Landscape (€3.200 – 5.000) by Christoforos Savva. Opportunities for investors
Family Warmth (€2.500 – 4.000) by Mikis Phinkarides, Portrait (€2.000 – 3.000) by George Kotsonis and The little girl with the doll (€2.500 – 3.500) by sculptor Kyriakos Rokos also rate high among investment opportunities.
Unknown (16th Century), The Queen of Cyprus Catherine Cornaro and her Sister Cornelia, (oil on canvas, 116 x 137 cm, €24.000 – 35.000)
The masterful double portrait by an unknown Renaissance painter of the 16th Century shows Caterina Cornaro, widow of the King of Cyprus James Lusignan II who abdicated her kingdom in favour of the Republic of Venice, and her sister Cornelia. The Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia of the Lusignans and the respective Coat of Arms of the Cornel and the Vendramin families are depicted in the upper centre of the painting between the two women. Their kinship is clearly indicated in the lower centre of the painting by the Italian word SORORERS (sisters) in gilded letters.
Michael Kashalos, On the Loom (oil on plywood, 119 x 69 cm, €24.000 - 35.000)
On the Loom is a beautiful composition on flat surface by Cypriot naïf Michael Kashalos (1885 – 1974) noted for his deceptively simple and authentic scenes of rural Cyprus. The painting is a representation of the various stages of the traditional craft of weaving, which women in rural Cyprus practiced until the middle of last century. Kashalos uses his fastidious technique and exaggerated colour gamut to imbue the static figures with an underlying motion which brings the composition to life.
Théodore Ralli, A Peasant Woman rests next to the Haystack (oil on canvas, 28, 5 x 39, 5 cm, €14.000 - 22.000)
During the second part of the nineteenth century, Greek painter Theodore Ralli or Theodorus Rallis (1852-1909) had a very active presence in the Parisian art scene regularly exhibiting at the Salon de Rouen. He exhibited also at the Royal Academy in London and had been a member of the Societé des Artistes Français receiving a silver medal in 1889. He was noted for the romantic mysticism and suggestive sensuality of his paintings which alluded to orientalist painting. Rallis travelled extensively in the Middle East and North Africa and for a while lived in Cairo. After his death he gradually fell into obscurity. A few of his paintings were auctioned in the 20th Century obtaining modest prices.
In the beginning of the 21st century his paintings began to fall out of obscurity fetching prices that were tenfold those of the earlier years. In 2007, his study for the painting Refectory in a Greek Monastery (1885) was auctioned at €200.0000 euros at Sotheby’s in London. The painting itself was auctioned in 2008 in Belgium for the record price of €670.000 euros.
His painting A Peasant Woman rests next to the Haystack, which will be offered at auction on Monday 1st December is a nostalgic recollection of life in 18th Century Greece with influences from the great French painter Jean-Francois Millet and the Barbizon school.
Pericles Pantazis, The Young Drinker (oil on wood, 34 x 22.5 cm, €7.500 - 13.000)
The painting (1871) carries the influences of the Munich School leading to a near certainty that the Artist painted in Munich where he enrolled with the Fine Art Academy. The austere horizontal and vertical lines, the use of colour to “illuminate” the composition and the creation of lighter and darker areas adhere to the aesthetic principles of the Munich School. However, there is a welcoming youthfulness and a freshness that ''liberates'' the Young Drinker from the rigidity taught at the Academy.
The painting was formerly in the Collection of Jean Renard (1875 – 1938), one of the most important collectors of Belgian Art of the late 19th century. From then on, the painting was in private collections.