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"Heralding the Dawn" | Antonio Franchini

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Oil on canvas | Signed lower left "Ant. Franchini / (illegible title)"
Item # 102AWG04X 

An intricate scene reminiscent of the 17th and 18th century Old Masters, the present composition was used by Antonio Franchini for several of his paintings. Notably, the same scene of just the rooster without the accompanying hen and in a much smaller dimension (12" x 10") was acquired at Christies, London, 19 July 2001, Sale 9162, Lot 106 (achieved 1880 GBP, approximately $ 2700 USD) and was sold later at Richard Gardner Antiques in London for an undisclosed amount. Stanford Fine Art carried at one point a larger composition with the present Rooster and Hen on the right side of the scene.

The present scene is a rich and large composition with the proud rooster as the focal point, the playful hen positioned on the rocky outcropping behind him while together they are presented before a large tree with only a small glimmer of the sky upper left. The positioning and proportioning of both rooster and hen is noteworthy, allowing the rooster to be larger-than-life while still capturing the full features of the hen in rich detail by placing her above him in the upper right.

Artist Listings & Bibliography:

  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. V, Gründ, 2006, p. 986 - the highest grossing work for Franchini is recorded in the Benezit as his marble sculpture Cupid's Little Emissary, sold in New York May 23rd of 1990 for $ 121,000 USD; it also notes his work Sacrificer is held in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Arras.

Measurements: 29 3/4" H x 25 3/8" W [canvas]; 32 15/16" H x 28 5/8" W [frame]

Condition Report:
Professionally conserved. Old varnish removed and replaced with damar varnish. Two patches to the reverse repairing two tears in the canvas: the first vertical above rooster's tail 3 1/2", the second far left by frame edge (same height as rooster's hip) 1/2" x 1/2". Stretcher bar impression visible around all sides. Thin craquelure throughout, particularly in the dark fields of the image. Old frame with wear and discoloration. Under UV examination, spot of inpainting to rooster's breast (3/16" diameter), inpainting to a few spots in the lower right hand corner, lower left corner overpainted, upper right corner 1/2" diameter spot of inpainting, other speck touchups throughout. Canvas is stable and firm, remains in very good condition, ready to place.