Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Seville 1618-1682) Saint Peter receiving the keys; and The Baptism of Christ  (2)

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Lot 354
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
(Seville 1618-1682)
Saint Peter receiving the keys; and The Baptism of Christ (2)

Sold for £ 100,062 (US$ 129,618) inc. premium
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Seville 1618-1682)
Saint Peter receiving the keys; and The Baptism of Christ
a pair, oil on canvas
37.2 x 26.8cm (14 5/8 x 10 9/16in). (2)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The Collection of General the Hon. John Meade (circa 1775-1849), Consul General at Madrid
    With Frank T. Sabin, London, 1955, where purchased by the present owner's great uncle

    Literature
    D. Angulo Iñguez, Murillo. Catálogo critico, Madrid, 1981, vol. II, p. 285, cat. no. 363a, ill. vol. III, pl. 220 (Saint Peter) and p. 211, cat. no. 235, ill. vol. III, pl. 219 (Baptism)
    E. Valdivieso, Murillo: Catalogo Razonado De Pinturas, Madrid, 2010, p. 406, cat. no. 204 (Saint Peter) and 205 (Baptism)


    The present Baptism of Christ is most probably the sketch made by Murillo in preparation for his large altarpiece of 1667 for the Chapel of San Antonio in the Cathedral of Seville. Only minor changes have been made by the artist when scaling up the sketch to the finished work, the most obvious of which is to the right arm of John the Baptist. Given that this and the Saint Peter receiving the Keys, of the same dimensions, have lived together since at least the mid-19th Century it is fair to assume that the latter was also a preparatory sketch. However, no known finished work has been identified for the Saint Peter receiving the Keys. It is nonetheless very unlikely to have been for an altarpiece in Seville Cathedral as Zurbaran's large Altar of Saint Peter had already been in place for some 30-40 years beforehand.

    The former owner of this pair of sketches, General John Meade was the son of a major landowner in Northern Ireland and served as Consul General in Madrid from 1816 until 1832, when the position was abolished. He was one of a group of men who profited from the favourable buying conditions in Spain to build up an eclectic but notable collection of paintings, just under half of which was made up of Spanish works. After his death, his collection was offered in several auctions, the most notable of which took place at Christie's on 6-8 March 1851 and included El Greco's Portrait of a lady with a flower in her hair, which was later in the Collection of Viscount Rothermere and sold by Christie's in 1993.
Contacts
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Seville 1618-1682) Saint Peter receiving the keys; and The Baptism of Christ  (2)
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