Alberto Pasini Oil Painting, ca. 1880

Value (2009) | $30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction

GUEST:
I've actually had it for a number of years. It was originally my grandmother's. I remember, as a kid growing up, I'd always see it sitting in the den and as I got older, I actually grew to appreciate it more, and then when she had passed away, she had left me a couple of paintings and this was one of them.

APPRAISER:
Have you done some research on it?

GUEST:
I've done a little bit. I assume that the artist is Alberto Pasini, and I knew he was an Italian painter, kind of roamed around and did a lot of, I guess, daily life pictures.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, I think by general consensus, he's probably the leading Italian artist to work in the Orientalist manner.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
And by that I mean using subject matter from the East, from North Africa. And he traveled there extensively. He was from Italy originally and studied in Parma and then moved to France, where he knew artists such as Fromentin, he knew Jules Duprés, Théodore Rousseau, was associated with the Barbizon school, and he learned from all of them. But in the middle of the 1850s, when he would have been, I think, in his 30s, he had some financial problems, apparently. And he decided to go off with a French expedition to the Near East. And he traveled to places like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, he was in Turkey. He traveled around pretty extensively and really fell in love with what he saw there, and that became his subject. He loved the area so much that he lived in Tehran for two years in what was then Persia and was even commissioned by the shah to do paintings.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
And this painting here, it's hard to determine where exactly it might be. He did do a lot of work in Constantinople, so it's possible that it's of Turkish origin. I couldn't really say. But it really is an exquisite little piece. It shows his mastery of draftsmanship. He's a really wonderful, subtle colorist. The green going around here, and then picking out the red and the little red fezzes here. He just sets them off beautifully, and that's fairly typical of his work. A little muted ocher, and then there's a sensitive scumbling in there. And some of the oil paint, which is what it is, has almost been applied in thin washes like watercolor. For many people, it may not be as commercial as some of his other works. They might want a little bit of blue sky in the top or a bit more light. But I actually think it's just a great, subtle, understated little painting. (chuckles) And I would think at auction, I would feel very comfortable with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
Wow! I had no idea.

APPRAISER:
I don't think you would want to insure it for much less than $70,000.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
(laughing): Wow.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2009)
$30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction
Event
Atlantic City, NJ (June 06, 2009)
Period
19th Century
Form
Painting
Material
Oil

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