PRESS RELEASE

One Collector | One Work of Art | One Hour
September 28, 2020

PARIS – As with much of the world, art galleries are pivoting toward virtual viewing rooms, online tours, and video to adjust to the changing realities of our daily life. Robilant+Voena, in association with Carolyn H. Miner, are taking a wholly different approach, launching One Collector | One Work of Art | One Hour, a return to the moment that drives any art lover – a one-on-one dialogue with a great work of art. One Collector provides the opportunity to spend time with an exceptional work of art privately, eliminating the concerns currently inherent in visiting a public gallery, or even a museum. 

 

Robilant+Voena are proud to be expanding their business to Paris with their first liaison office. They believe firmly, even as one-on-one interactions are increasingly limited, that instead of merely discovering ways to go digital, it is important to invent ways to foster the personal experience with art and the dialogue around it.

The first iteration of One Collector is inaugurated in Paris with the presentation of Andrea Appiani’s Josephine Bonaparte Crowning the Myrtle Tree, the first painting of Josephine following her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte. Dated to the summer of 1796, it was painted immediately following Josephine’s arrival in Milan (Napoleon had departed for Italy days after their marriage). Josephine was quite taken with Appiani’s triumphant portrait of her husband painted a few months earlier and the couple commissioned the allegorical portrait of Josephine as its pendant. 

The circumstances of the commission are recorded in a laudatory ode contained in an undated but contemporary pamphlet entitled Ad Andrea Appiani egregio pittor Milanese in occasione di aver fatto I ritratti del Generale francese Bonaparte e della Cittadina sua sposa (To Andrea Appiani, famous Milanese painter, on the occasion of the creation of the portraits of the General Napoleon and his wife Josephine). The author was Angelo Petracchi, a Roman poet known by name of Eurindo Epirotico, who notes that once Appiani, whom he compared to Apelles and Raphael, had completed his image of Napoleon as the “new Belisarius,” he turned his brush to “the one who made him madly in love.” Josephine, he notes in verse, “is represented holding a crown in her hands, in which roses and lilies are woven with laurel and oak, and she crowns the myrtle with her wreath, as a sacrifice of love.” Petracchi goes on to praise the “languorous” beauty of the future Empress, and especially notes “her Creole eyes, her sweet and plaintive eyes, almost irresistible, the chief desire of her many suitors.” Fernando Mazzocca postulates that the intimacy of the work’s subject and scale, together with its date, indicate that Napoleon likely carried the picture with him on the battlefield. To learn more about this painting and a high-resolution image click here.

 

 Robilant + Voena is a partnership of art dealers Edmondo di Robilant and Marco Voena, who joined together in 1999 at their premises on 38 Dover Street in London. Further gallery spaces were opened in Milan in 2009 and St Moritz in 2014. The gallery has distinguished itself as one of the leading international art dealers in Old Master paintings, as well as 20th-century Italian art. Robilant+Voena has sold paintings to many important private collectors and museums including The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Gallerie dell'Accademia Venice, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Edinburgh, The National Gallery of Stockholm, The Museum of Western Art Tokyo, The National Gallery of Victoria, The Pinacoteca Brera, and The National Gallery of Stockholm. Robilant+Voena is represented at the most prestigious fine art fairs in the world (including TEFAF, Frieze Masters, and the Biennale des Antiquaires) and is committed to its active exhibitions programme and publication of scholarly catalogues.


Carolyn H. Miner is an independent curator and consultant. She was formerly the Robert H. Smith Research Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the National Gallery, Washington D.C and a sculpture specialist at Sotheby’s London and New York. She also held curatorial posts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Miner has a strong curatorial foundation, a keen art market acumen and an expansive international network in the arts. In addition to her curatorial practice, Carolyn discreetly advises museums, private collectors, and galleries on acquisitions. She is also the editor in chief of Marco Voena’s Il Libro: The Magazine of Italian Art.

 

 

For further information, please contact Flora Allen at flora@robilantvoena.com