Follower of GIOVANNI NICOLAS SERVANDONI, possibly a French Artist circa 1817

A Capriccio of Classical Architecture with Alexander the Great declaiming to his soldiers

Oil on canvas: 25.5 x 18.5 in. 75 x 47 cm. Framed: 33 x 26 in. 84 x 66 cm.

Provenance: Marcello Violante

Although the architecture in the present painting bears a close resemblance to the work of Giovanni Nicolas Servandoni, in particular the picture that was sold at a Sotheby’s New York auction 24th.January 2002, now in the collection of the Earl of Dartmouth, it has been suggested by Clare Hornsby that it might well be the work of a French artist working at the French Academy in Rome. The sculpted well in the foreground bears a monogram ‘A’ and the date 1817, which might point to an artist paying tribute to Servandoni, who had been a pupil of Panini. Certainly the play of light, and the strong repoussoir effect of the figure in the left foreground, as well as the crisp execution of architectural detail overall, are strongly suggestive of Servandoni, although the fluid and confidently depicted staffage proposes a different hand. A possible candidate is Jean Alaux, pensionnaire at the French Academy in Rome 1816 – 1820. Alaux’s interest in classical subjects, of which this could be another example, was typified by his Briseis weeping over the body of Patroclus with which he won the Prix de Rome in 1815. He subsequently became Director of the French Academy in Rome 1846 – 1852.