Lavinia Fontana's Lucia Bonasoni di Garzoni Doubles Estimate

May 18 2021

Image of Lavinia Fontana's Lucia Bonasoni di Garzoni Doubles Estimate


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Subastas Segre auction house in Madrid realised a rather impressive price today for Lavinia Fontana's Portrait of Lucia Bonasoni di Garzoni. The picture, dated to 1590, doubled its estimate of €40k - €50k and was eventually sold to a telephone bidder for €140,000. The Spanish press are speculating as to whether a Spanish institution will step in to try and keep the work in the country, if indeed the new owner intends to export the painting.


As a lutenist, I am absolutely drawn to the beautifully depicted instrument that features within the painting. The attention to detail lavished on the strings and concaved ribs are lovely. Equally, it is just about possible to read the so-called Italian tablature that Fontana painted into the picture. I've strummed through it and it seems to make some sense. I'll let you know if I find the exact song it may refer to.

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