in-cyprus18th century portrait of Caterina Cornaro depicted as Saint Catherine of Alexandria...

18th century portrait of Caterina Cornaro depicted as Saint Catherine of Alexandria making its auction debut at Cypria’s Fine Arts Sale

Nicosia – Cypria is delighted to announce the auction debut of a magnificent 18th century portrait of Caterina Cornaro represented as Saint Catherine that is based on the original painting by Titian, at its Fine Arts Evening Sale, to be held on the 25th of May at Gallery K Nicosia.

Dated 1542, the original masterpiece by Titian (Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio) is now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The painting portrays the last monarch of the Kingdom of Cyprus (r.1474-89) in splendidly pearl-embellished purple silk robes with gold embroidery and a gold trimming. She is wearing a golden crown adorned with pearls and gems. The wheel, depicted at the lower right in the background, was one of the martyrdom attributes of St. Catherine.

Titian’s portrait of Caterina Cornaro was one of a number of paintings done of the young queen of Cyprus – Bellini is also known to be among the artists to have painted her.


The work has impacted millions who have visited the Uffizi, Florence. This portrait after Titian, now gracing the auction’s saleroom in Gallery K, also has an elaborately carved gilt wooden frame which creates a spectacular union with the painting. “It is a perfect marriage,” says Ritsa Kyriacou, Head Art Consultant and Managing Director at Cypria Fine Art Auctions. “The stately, yet fine and delicately carved frame, which the painting inhabits brings out the vivid intensity of the portrait adding a whole new layer to the experience.”

The portrait was created in the 18th century and its provenance is traced to a private collection in Brussels. In 2002, the present owners (UK private collectors), commissioned a full and detailed report. University College London (UCL) was commissioned to analyse the layer structure, the materials and paint pigments, concluding the painting was created in the mid-18th century. The detailed 5-page report can be made available by Cypria upon request. Recent X-ray radiation used to further explore the artwork revealed a seamless condition with no traces of any restoration work.

70.0 Jean Altamoura Copenhagen

Highlights across Cypria’s 25 May Evening Sale also include The Port of Copenhagen by Jean Altamoura (1852 – 1878), one of Greece’s great pre-impressionists. This deeply mystical painting renders the metaphysical atmosphere of the Northern European Seas with a sublime shift towards the spirit of the Greek light. (Estimate:  € 25 000 – 45 000). The remarkable Still Life with Grapes by Greek impressionist Pericles Pantazis (1849 – 1884) also stands out with its exquisite greens and quick brush strokes creating a dance-like movement. (Estimate:  € 10 000 – 15 000). Among the Cypriot greats, Christoforos Savva (1924 – 1968) is very well represented with the Agios Sozomenos at Galata (White Church) standing out with its clear forms and play of whites. (Estimate:  € 17 000 – 30 000).

71.0 Pericles Pantazis

Rare, historic books also have a prominent place in this season’s sale. Highlights include the First Edition of Histoire des chevaliers de l’Ordre de S. Jean de Hierusalem – (History of the Knights of the Order of S. John of Jerusalem) by Jean Baudoin & Anne de Naberat from 1629. The 500 year old book is richly illustrated containing 4 large copper engraved plans one of which is the extremely rare map of Cyprus “Isle de Cipre,” which was engraved by H. Raignauld and designed to illustrate the presence of the knights of St John of Jerusalem on the island after their expulsion from the Holy Land in 1291. Both the book and the map are offered in the same lot (Estimate:  € 4 200 – 6 500). Highlights also include an extremely rare book of Alexander Palma di Cesnola’s Collection of Cypriot Antiquities. Lawrence Cesnola’s Collection, Cyprus Antiquities, excavated by Major Alexander Palma di Cesnola, 1876 – 1879 is signed by the author and contains photographs of the collection’s objects and a photograph of a map of Cyprus. It contains 38 letterpress leaves, the majority with printed English text. On 34 of these leaves there is handwritten translation in the Italian language that is believed to be by Cesnola himself. (Estimate:  € 13 000 – 20 000).

93.0 Savva Agios Sozomenos

The 25th of May Evening Sale brings to the market 145 lots. The collection includes seminal arts works from 19th century greats to in-demand contemporaries. The sale represents various artistic movements and features iconic players across Greek, Cypriot and European Art such as Zoe Zengelis, Andreas Charalambides, Dimitris Mytaras, Apostolos Yayannos, Pavlos Samios, Stelios Votsis, Renos Loizou, Kostis Georgiou, Spyros Vassiliou and more. The collection also includes prints, lithographs, silkscreens, maps, woodcuts, copper engravings and more.

130.historie De Hiervsalem (2)

The entire collection will remain on display until the 25th of May at Gallery K. The sale will also be live streamed worldwide through the international art sale platform

132.cesnola 1 High (10)

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