Italian “Capriccio” Oil Painting, ca. 1900
I bought the painting at a rummage sale. It was bundled with two other paintings and some quilts and things. I paid $60 for it.
So you paid $60 for this painting?
For the whole lot.
We're looking at an oil on canvas that's in the style of a number of Italian painters who were working in the 17th century and the 18th century. In the 17th century, you have artists like Giovanni Ghisolfi, who's one artist who does similar work in the style of this. In the 18th century, you have artists such as Giovanni Paolo Panini and an artist called Leonardo Coccorante. The question is, is your painting something that can be linked to one of these artists? And I think the answer is probably, almost undoubtedly, your painting is a latter-day variation. These sorts of paintings as a genre are often referred to as capriccio. A capriccio is an imaginary landscape. I looked at the back of the canvas. I can see that the painting is relined, meaning at the outer edges of the canvas, we can see where there's a juncture of a secondary canvas that's been backed to the original canvas. On the stretcher I noticed a sticker that says, "Made in Italy." It could in fact be an early 20th-century painting, best case probably a 19th-century painting. But done in the tradition, in the style of one of the 17th-, 18th-century Italian capriccio painters. We have a lot of condition issues with some paint loss. The paint is actively flaking. And you've got some old restoration that's apparent. I think what you have is a decorative painting. As is, given the condition issues, today at auction a painting like this is probably going to be estimated around $800 to $1,200. Which is not bad, for $60.
No, not bad at all.
So thank you very much for bringing it in. It's very interesting.
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