Gentileschi and the Home
| Français | Introduction
Theme of "Lot and His Daughters"
by R. Ward Bissell
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3. STAMFORD, ENGLAND, BURGHLEY
HOUSE, MARQUESS OF EXETER COLLECTION (fig. 10)
A. Whitby, curator at Burghley House, has kindly informed me that
according to tradition this panel was presented to the 9th Earl of
Exeter on 18 July 1774, by Pope Clement XIV (Giovanni Vincenzo
Ganganelli). Orazio's small Madonna and Child in a Landscape at
Burghley House is slid to have the same provenance. It must be
mentioned, however, that in the early 18th century Vertue thought he
recognized paintings by Gentileschi at Stamford: "in the
chappel old pictures by Gentileschi (I imagine)." Walpole
Society, vol. XX, 1931-2 (Vertue vol. II), p. 34. In the text
the authenticity of this version is questioned.
Orazio for Charles I, specifically the Finding of Moses (now
at Castle Howard) which was sold in 1651 along with the Lot and
His Daughters and to the same buyers, also came into the
possession of Charles II of Spain.
4. BILBAO, SPAIN, MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES (fig. II)
See, in addition to the discussion below, App. II, 5 and II, 6. With
the exception of minor details of foliage and an accentuation of the
Rames issuing from the distant town, the pjcture at Bilbao
corresponds exactly to Lucas Vorstermann's engraving of the Lot
and His Daughters by Gentileschi which belonged to Charles I of
England (fig. 12; App. II, 5 ; H. Voss, Die Malerei des Barock in
Rom, Berlin, 1924, p. 460; O. Millar in Walpole Society, vol.
XXXVII, 1958-60, p. 235n.). While Orazio did execute replicas of
many of his compositions (there are, for example, four generally accepted versions
of his Rest on the Flight into Egypt), the
variations are often more extensive than those between the
engraving and the canvas at Bilbao. In addition, the Lot and His
Daughters formerly in the Casa de Alba, and in the 17th century
in the collection of the Marqués del Carpio, measured 3 1/2 varas
or 292 cm. (115 in.) in width, very close to the present size of
the Bilbao painting. Pérez Sánchez, p. 503, believes that the two
paintings might be the same.
On the basis of the above considerations and the documentation
collected in App. II, 5 and II, 6, the following history of the Lot
and His Daughters is proposed: English Royal Collection, in the
possession of Queen Henrietta Maria; sold, April 1651; restored to
the Crown after 1660; passed to Henrietta Anne, daughter of Charles
I and Henrietta Maria, and then to her daughter, Marie Louise, first
wife of Charles II of Spain; by gift to the Marqués del Carpio y de
Heliche, Don Gaspar de Guzmán, Ambassador to Rome (1677-83) and
Viceroy of Naples (1683-7) under Charles II; by inheritance to the
Casa de Alba; unknown; Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, early 20th
In support of the above proposal, which has the virtue of explaining
how the picture could have reached Spain from England, one further
fact and one further theory can be introduced. First, the Marqués
del Carpio also owned an Apollo and the Muses by Gentileschi
which was, without question, a work of the artist's English period
and which may have been painted for Charles I (App. II, 6).
Secondly, and as I will demonstrate in a subsequent study, there is
some reason to believe that another painting done by Orazio for
Charles I, specifically the Finding of Moses (now at Castle
Howard) which was sold in 1651 along with the Lot and His
Daughters and to the same buyers, also came into possession of
Charles II of Spain.
Lot and His Daughters by Orazio Gentileschi Versions of the
Theme Mentioned in the Sources
I. GENOA, SAULI COLLECTION
Described by Soprani, p. 317, when in the Sauli collection as
"a Lot who with his daughters flees the fire of his homeland"
(un Loth che con le figlie fugge l'incendio della
propria patria). Sterling, p. 117, n. 36, incorrectly read
"che con la famiglia" and contended that the picture was,
technically. Lot's Family Fleeing Sodom. However, no such
picture by Gentileschi is known, and although in a letter to Turin
Orazio himself speaks of a "fuga di Lotto," the painting
for the Duke of Savoy actually represented "Lot with his
daughters near a rock, lying asleep on the knee of one of the
daughters" (see below, no. 2). Moreover, in all of Orazio's
versions of the theme, one of the daughters indicates either the
distant land or the burning city itself from which they had fled.
Finally, I believe that the example formerly in the T(h)eophilatos
collection at Genoa (App. I, I; fig. 5) and the painting which
belonged to Sauli are identical.
2. TURIN, PALAZZO REALE
In a letter from Genoa dated 2 April 1623, Gentileschi informed
Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoy, that he had sent to Turin an Annunciation
(fig. 4) as a follow-up to a "fuga di Lotto" which had
apparently pleased the Duke (Baudi di Vesme, 1932, pp. 319-20; A.
Griseri in Paragone, vol. XII, no. 141, 1961, pp. 27-8 and pl.
42). The Lotis also mentioned in the following inventories of
the royal collection at Turin:
(a) l September 1631: "quadro del Lotto del Gentileschi,
cornice dorata, larg.a p.di 4 1/2 alt.a 3 1/2" (Campori, p. 82).
(b) 1635: "Lot con le due figlie vicini a un sasso,
figure intiere. Del Gentilesco. De'migliori. A. p. 3 1/2 .L. p. 4"
(Baudi di Vesme, 1897, p. 43, no. 205).
(c) Before 1646: "Quadro quadrilongo, alto piedi 3 1/2 longo
piedi 4 circa, rappresentante 'Lot con le sue figliole vicino ad un
sasso coricato sulla ginocchia d'una d'esse figliole che dorme,'
figure intiere di mano del pittore Gentileschi" (Rovere, p. 64,
The measurements are undoubtedly in piedi liprandi, or 51.3
cm. (20Y4 in.) (Baudi di Vesme, 1897, p. 351, n. I). The size is
thus given variously as 180 X 231 cm. (70 7/8 X 91 in.) and 180 x 205
cm. (70 7/8 x 80 3/4 in.). Campori, p. 82, n. 3, claimed that the Lot
was among the works taken to France in 1799, that it had been
recovered, and was then in the Royal Pinacoteca as no. 244. In point
of fact, no. 244 refers to Orazio's famous Annunciation (fig.
4) which was in the seconda spedizione of 1799 and was
returned to Turin in 1815 or 1816 (Baudi di Vesme, 1897, pp. 15,
and 49, n. 3 ; Rovere, pp. 78 ff., n. 102). Nor is a Lot and His
Daughters included in the list of those paintings which had
remained in Turin and which were to form the nucleus of a museum
there (Rovere, p. 86, n. 105). When Roberto d'Azeglio, La Reale
Galleria di Torino, vol. I, Turin, 1836, p. 60, and Rovere, p.
64, n. 19, wrote, the Lot was not to be found in Turin. Baudi
di Vesme contradicted himself; in 1897 (p. 43 , n. I) he maintained
that the Lot was then in the Palazzo Reale, whereas in a
manuscript of his that was not published until 1932 (in Atti
della Società Piemontese, vol. XIV, p. 320) it is claimed, on
the authority of Rovere (1858; note the date), that the Lot was
no longer in the royal collection. Baudi di Vesme adds, however,
that it still existed there in the 18th century, where it served as
a sopraporta and pendant to a St Sebastian also by
Gentileschi. A publication of 1769 (alluded to, but not specified,
by Isarlo, p. 147) evidently states that the Lot was then at
Turin, but it has been impossible to determine the validity of this
It is absolutely clear, however, that there is no reason to
believe, as Sterling, p. 117, n. 36, had on the basis of the incorrect information supplied by Campori (1870) and Baudi di Vesme
(1897), that a Lot and His Daughters by Orazio Gentileschi
was still in Turin during the 19th century. In fact, the picture for
the Duke of Savoy may have entered the Orléans collection in France
between 1727 and 1752 (App. I, 2).
3. PARIS, LE BRUN SALE, II April 1791
No.43, with the attribution to Velasquez, to whom the example, in
the Orléans collection (App. I, 2) was also assigned: "Loth et
ses filles, petit tableau du grand dans la coli. du Palais d'Orléans.
Bois. H. 9 pouces L. 1212 pouces" (Sterling, p. 117, n. 34). An
18th-century copy? Perhaps purchased by a certain Pamard of Avignon
(see next entry).
| App. II, no. 4 to 7
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