Fifty artworks from the historic Blaisdon Hall in Gloucestershire will go under the hammer at Dreweatts auctioneers in December.Located in Longhope in the Forest of Dean, the Grade II-listed house was built in 1876 in Jacobean style by the architect Frederick Sandham Waller (1822- 1905) and was extended in the early 20th century by his son.This fine example of Victorian architecture was originally built for the Crawshay family, a long line who were Forest of Dean ironmasters and stands as a visual reminder of the impact the family once had on the area. The house has since changed owners several times and for a brief period was an agricultural school.The collection includes important works from the 17th to the 19th centuries, with continental pictures by artists such as and Gustave Doré (1831-1883) Giuseppe Magni (1869-1956), alongside a range of important British works by George Wright (1860-1942), Samuel George Waller (1850-1903) and George Cole (1810-1883). They will be offered in a sale at Dreweatts titled Old Master, British and European Art on December 14.Among the works is a painting by one of the greatest Dutch still life painters of his time, Elias van den Broeck (Dutch 1650-1708). Titled A poppy, tulip, chrysanthemum, morning glory, roses and other flowers in a vase, on a stone ledge it shows a brilliance and harmony of colour with an accurate rending of the subject matter, be it the flowers in all their variety, the snail on the left, or even the smallest drops of water. The painting is a fine example of why Van den Broeck’s still lifes are praised for their painstaking attention to detail. In oil on canvas, it was created towards the end of the artist’s career and is estimated to fetch £25,000-£35,000.A painting by Italian artist Aurelio Tiratelli (1842-1900), titled Cattle Fair at Ostia is considered to be one of his most significant works. It is also believed to have been acquired by King Vittorio Emanuele (1869-1947), the King of Italy from 1900 until his abdication in 1946. Trained in sculpture he later became known for his views of cattle in the Italian countryside. This painting of a cattle fair on the outskirts of Rome is in oil on canvas and carries an estimate of £20,000-£30,000.A wonderful work titled Saint Apollonia attributed to the Italian artist Pietro Dandini (1646-1712) is also in the collection. Saint Apollonia was one of a group of virgin martyrs who suffered in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians, prior to the persecution of Decius. She is depicted with a pair of pliers, as according to church tradition, her torture included having all of her teeth violently pulled out or shattered. For this reason, she is popularly regarded as the patroness of dentistry and those suffering from toothache or other dental problems. Revered as an artist, sculptor and fresco painter, Pietro Dandini was extremely popular in Florence during the Baroque period (1600 to 1750) and his biggest patron was the Medici family, namely Prince Ferdinand and the Grand Duke. This charming work in oil on canvas is estimated to fetch £8,000-£12,000.A painting titled Moses in the Bulrushes by the celebrated French artist Gustave Doré (1832-1883) is believed to have been inspired by a work the artist created for a new deluxe version of the bible in 1843. Doré was multi-talented and well-reputed as a painter, sculptor, illustrator and printmaker, as well as a caricaturist. He is most famous for his prolific number of wood-engravings, particularly those illustrating classic books.For the new French translation of the Vulgate Bible he produced 241 wood-engravings, known as the La Grande Bible de Tours. This two-volume work was published in France and Great Britain in 1866 and included 139 plates from the Old Testament and 81 from the New Testament. His plate 39 The Child Moses on the Nile (The book of Exodus. 1:8-22, 2:1-4) is very similar to this picture of his. The illustrations had broad international appeal and were widely reproduced. They also reveal many elements that are familiar in Doré’s work, such as the mountain scenes and the lurid skies. The period element is also characteristic, in the picture the angels are Victorian angels, full of sentiment and the children are Victorian children, sentimental or wise beyond their years. This dramatic work in oil on canvas is estimated to fetch £15,000-£20,000.
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