January 16, 2013
Two paintings by Giovanni Battista Lusieri are going on sale. These paintings were displayed in Scotland last year in an exhibition of the artist’s work. Lusieri wass famous for being the artist employed by Lord Elgin to document the Parthenon Sculptures & their removal. None of those paintings survive, ass they were all destroyed when the ship carrying them was wrecked, but seeing the two pictured in this article, gives an idea of the level of detail & quality that they may have contained.
Rare watercolours by Giovanni Battista Lusieri for sale
By Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online
7:10AM GMT 15 Jan 2013
Rare watercolours by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Lusieri, the man famous for his removal of marbles from the Parthenon for Lord Elgin, go on sale in New York after Scottish National Gallery show.
Two significant watercolours by Italian painter Giovanni Battista Lusieri (1754–1821), a man renowned for his involvement in the removal and shipping of the Elgin Marbles to England, are to go on sale in New York.
The Scottish National Gallery displayed the paintings last year as part of their exhibition ‘Expanding Horizons – Giovanni Battista Lusieri and the Panoramic Landscape’.
Rome-born Lusieri was one of very few Italian artists to have adopted watercolour as their favoured medium. Telegraph Art Critic Richard Dorment called him “a minor master” and “technical genius”. The latter part of Lusieri’s career was spent mainly in Athens as Lord Elgin’s resident artist and agent. In that capacity he was closely involved in supervising the removal and shipping of the celebrated marbles from the Acropolis, now in the British Museum.
The two paintings will go on sale at Master Drawings New York later this month. They were only recognised as being works of Lusieri when they were purchased by James Mackinnon. In 1821, the ship carrying the greater part of Luseri’s production in Greece and a collection of classical sculpture for Elgin sank during a storm.
Of his works in Greece, only one major watercolour (in the Elgins collection) and an oil (in National Gallery of Scotland, also discovered by James Mackinnon) of the same subject are known today. These two works are a part of his very rare Italian work and were acquired from the collection of Pauline Louise Harrison, daughter of Francis Henry Du Pont.
- Giovanni Battista Lusieri – Lord Elgin’s artist’s works go on display in Edinburgh’s National Gallery : July 11, 2012
- Exhibition in Boston of watercolour paintings of Elgin Marbles : November 6, 2012
- Rare book on Elgin Marbles for sale : June 11, 2009
- Mary Elgin & the Elgin Marbles : August 1, 2004
- Sotheby’s didn’t sell the Elgin Marbles – they sold a marble sculpture that was legally purchased by Lord Elgin : December 12, 2012
- Video of the watercolour paintings of the Parthenon frieze : November 7, 2012
- The Elgin family busts in Ottawa : October 26, 2011
- British Museum director tries to block sale of artworks from Aukland Castle : April 20, 2011