Giovanni Battista Beinaschi, Martyrdom of Saint Peter. Oil on canvas, 290 x 193cm; 114.25 x 76 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- A major exhibition of Italian paintings will open at the 22 East 80th Street gallery of Otto Naumann Ltd. on January 6 and remain on view until February 15.

“Looking South: Three Centuries of Italian Paintings” will feature more than forty Renaissance and Baroque masterworks dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, including several important discoveries never before publicly exhibited. 

According to Otto Naumann, “The rich history of the collecting of Italian Renaissance and Baroque painting in America has been explored in several recent books and exhibitions. This past September the Frick Collection sponsored a two-day conference “Going for Baroque; Americans Collect Italian Paintings of the 17th and 18th Centuries.” It was at this event that the idea for “Looking South” was born.” 

Attending the conference were Otto Naumann and Robert Simon, both Old Master painting dealers with a passion for Italy and Italian art who began their careers as art historians. During the lunch break they lamented the fact that there had been no major commercial exhibition of Italian paintings in New York for many years – this despite a resurgent interest among collectors and museums for paintings of the period. They decided to combine their resources and expertise in order to mount “Looking South.” 

The exhibited works range from portraits to still-lifes, from mythological subjects to mysterious allegories, from intimate devotional paintings to grand altarpieces. Paintings by some of the greatest names of Italian art will be featured, including Titian, Palma Vecchio, Ribera, Baglione, Crespi, Cavallino, Mattia Preti, Ceruti, and Bellotto. These have all been carefully conserved and meticulously researched, a process that draws on the academic backgrounds of the two organizers as well as their decades of experience in the connoisseurship of Old Master paintings. 

Otto Naumann received his M.A. from Columbia in 1974 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1979 and was a Professor of Art History at Boston University and the University of Delaware before leaving academe. His catalogue of the paintings of Frans van Mieris is the standard work on the artist; as a dealer he has handled works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Rubens and Velazquez. 

Robert Simon’s 1982 doctorate is from Columbia. He was a Research Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum and has published and lectured widely on Bronzino, the subject of his thesis, and numerous aspects of Italian painting. He was involved in the recent discovery of Leonardo da Vinci’s lost painting Salvator Mundi and is currently writing a book about its history and recovery. 

All works in the exhibition are for sale. A brochure and digital catalogue will be available on January 6 at or Otto Naumann Ltd is located at 22 East 80th Street. Exhibition hours are from Monday to Saturday, 11 to 5. 

Among highlights in the exhibition will be a major painting by Titian, “St. Sebastian,” painted for his patron Federico Gonzaga, oil on canvas 74 ¾ by 37 ¾ inches, Giovanni Battista Beinaschi’s altarpiece the “Martyrdom of Saint Peter,” oil on canvas 116 ¼ x 76 inches, Bernardo Bellotto’s “Architectural Caprice with Self-portrait,” oil on canvas 61 ½ x 44 ¼ inches, and a spectacular “Still-Life with Musical Instrument” by Evaristo Baschenis, oil on canvas 38 x 57 1/7 inches. 

Frank AuerbachPrimrose Hill Summer Sunshine 1964 Arts Council Collection Southbank Centre Frank Auerbach courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

Bernardo Bellotto (Venice 1721 – 1780 Warsaw), Architectural Capriccio with a Self-Portrait of Bellotto in the Costume of a Venetian Nobleman, oil on canvas, 60 ½ x 44 ¼ inches (155 x 112 cm.)


Provenance: Count Alessandro Contini-Buonacossi, Florence;
Eugene Victor Thaw and Stanley Moss and Co., New York, March 1976;
Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., New York;
His sale, Sotheby’s, New York, 1 June 1989, lot 84;
Private Collection, London.

Exhibited: Probably Dresden, Academy, 1765;
On loan to the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk, March 1976;
Nashville, 1977, no. 23.

Stefan Kozakiewicz, Bernardo Bellotto, 1972, vol. 1, p. 139, vol. II, p. 265, no. 334a, illus. p. 271;

Ettore Camesasca, L’Opera Completa del Bellotto, 1974, p. 194, no. 194;
Eric Zafran, “From the Renaissance to the Grand Tour,” Apollo, April 1978, pp. 250-1, fig. 14;
George T.M. Shackelford et al., A Gift to America: Masterpieces of European Painting from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, exhibition catalogue Raleigh (North Carolina Museum of Art), Houston (Museum of Fine Arts), Seattle (Seattle Art Museum), San Francisco (Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco), 1995, p. 230.

Frank Auerbach Head of E O W II 1964 Frank Auerbach courtesy Marlborough Fine Art

Evaristo Baschenis (1617 – Bergamo – 1677), A still life with musical instruments, signed on the edge of the spinet: EVARISTUS BASCHENIS P., oil on canvas,38 x 57 ⅛ inches (98 x 145 cm.).

Provenance: Count Moroni, Bergamo;
sale, Christie’s, New York, 6 April 2006, lot 60.

Literature: G. de Logu, Pittori minori Liguri, Lombardi, Piemontese del seicento e del settocento, Venice, 1931, p. 220;
L. Angelini, I Baschenis, Bergamo, 1946, p. 85, plate XLII;
M. Rosci, Baschenis, Bettera & Co. Produzinoe e Mercato della natura morta de seicento in Italia, Milan, 1971, pp. 50-1, 55 and 124, no. 103, illustrated;
J.T. Spike, Italian still life paintings from three centuries, exhibition catalogue, Florence, 1984, pp. 76-7, no. 24;
L. Salerno, Italian still life paintings from three centuries, The Silvano Lodi collection, exhibition catalogue, Florence, 1984, pp. 94-5, no. 39. illustrated;
L. Salerno, Italian still life painting in Italy, 1560 – 1805, Rome, 1984, p. 155, fig. 39.2;
L. Ravelli, Bartolomeno Arbotoni piacentino, maestro di Evaristo Baschenis: ipotesti sulla formazione del picttore bergamasco, Bergamo, 1987, p. 51. no. 46;
G. Anedi, et al., La curiosità dipinta:elementi di collezionismo tra XVI et XVIII secolo, exhibition catalogue, Milan, 1990, p. 35, no. III;
C. Bertelli, et al., Evaristo Baschenis e la natura morta in Europa, exhibition catalogue, Milan, 1996, pp. 184-7, no. 24;
A. Bayer, ed., The Still Lifes of Evaristo Baschenis – The Music of Silence, exhibition catalogue, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Milan, 2000, p. 37, fig. 19, detail ill., pp. 43 and 51;
S. Dathe, Natura morte italiana: Italienisches stilleben aus vier Jahrhunderten, Sammlung Silvano Lodi, exhibition catalogue, Ravensburg, 2003.

Exhibited: National Academy of Design, New York, Italian still life paintings from three centuries, 2 February – 13 March 1983, no. 24; Philbrook Art center, Tulsa, 9 April – 30 June 1983; 
Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, 30 July – 11 September, 1983.
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinokothek, Munich, Italian still life painting from three centuries, The Silvano Lodi collection, 27 November 1984 – 22 February 1985, no. 37; Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen-Pressicher Kulturbesitz, Berlin, 6 September – 27 October 1985; 
X Internationale Antiquariato, Milan, La curiosità dipinta: elementi di collectionismo tra XVI et XVIII secolo, 30 March – 8 April 1990, no. III; Galleria Principe Eugenio, Turin, 18 April – 5 May 1990;
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Italian still life painting, The Silvano Lodi collection, June 1994;
Galleria d’arte moderna e contemporanea, Bergamo, Evaristo Baschenis e la natura morta in Europa, 4 October 1996 – 12 January 1997, no. 24; 
Seijo Togo Memorial Kasai Museum of Art, Tokyo, Italian still life painting, from The Silvano Lodi collection, 28 April – 26 May 2001, no. 25;
Schloss Achberg, Ravensburg, Natura morte Italian: Italiensche stilleben aus vier Jahrhunderten, Sammlung Silvano Lodi, 11 April – 12 October 2003;
On loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 24 April 2008 – 24 September 2009.