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Title The Bridge of the Apostles
Collection Cooper Gallery, Barnsley
Artist Pasini, Alberto (Italian painter, printmaker, 1826-1899)
Date Earliest probably 1885
Date Latest probably 1886
Signed yes
Description Pasini was born in Busseto in Italy in 1826. He studied at the di Parma under Guiseppe Boccaccio and Girolamo Magnani (1815-1889). After fighting in the first war of independence, he went to Paris in 1851. Here he became familiar with the work of the Barbizon School. In 1855, thanks to the interest of the painter Théodore Chassériau (1819-1856), he accepted a diplomatic mission to Persia. It is from this time that his interest in the East can be seen in his work, his oriental paintings making up the majority of his art from this time. Returning to Paris, he exhibited at the Salon and was awarded the Légion d'honneur. He received commissions at this time from both the Scià of Persia and the Sultan of Constantinople. From 1871 he moved to Cavoretto in the hills of Turin in Italy, making frequent visits from here to Paris and Venice. It is from this time that his atmospheric studies of Venice date.
Current Accession Number CP/TR218
Inscription front lr 'A Pasani 188[?]'
Subject figure; townscape; marine; everyday life; place (Venice); buildings and gardens
Measurements 28 x 36 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Samuel Joseph Cooper to the Trustees of the Cooper Art Gallery 1913.
Provenance Bought from Sepia Bescuccia, Turin, by Samuel Joshua Cooper of Mount Vernon, near Barnsley, about 1885-86, £140 or £160.
Publications Catalogue of the Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley, [about 1915], cat. no. 32, p. 4; Catalogue of the Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley, [about 1935], cat. no. 32; Catalogue of the Cooper Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Barnsley, [about 1957], cat. no. 218.

Samuel Joshua Cooper (1830-1913) was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire. He was the son of a prosperous colliery owner and linen manufacturer. On the death of his father he inherited a considerable fortune, leading to his early retirement. He lived primarily at Mount Vernon, near Barnsley but also owned Cowick Hall, near Snaith, where part of his collection was also kept. Between 1862 and 1912 he formed the collection now at the Cooper Art Gallery, Barnsley. Several nineteenth-century French and Italian paintings were acquired by Cooper during his frequent visits to Europe. He bought these either from dealers or from the annual official exhibitions and salons held in these countries. Several works are also known to have come from a local dealer, Edmund Bates in Leeds. Although it is known that he acquired the majority of nineteenth-century works between 1862 and 1891, as these are detailed and recorded in a notebook written by him dated 1891, it is not known when he purchased the old master paintings and, therefore, he may have either inherited them from his father or acquired them after the notebook was written.

The original bequest comprised 275 paintings and drawings, over half of which were continental. There are a number of Dutch old master paintings of a high quality, but it is the French works that predominate in the collection. These are in the main works by academic Salon painters but also include a number of examples by Diaz and Isabey, painters from the Barbizon School. On his death Cooper bequeathed the paintings to a board of trustees with the provision that they establish a public art gallery in Barnsley.

The original invoice for this work still exists. It was purchased from a dealer in Turin by the name of Sepia Bescuccia. It does not give the date purchased, but from the entry in Cooper's notebook it is likely that it was bought around 1885 or 1886, at the time the picture was painted.

This painting appears in Cooper's notebook labelled 'Pictures at Mount Vernon', dated 20 April 1891, Sheffield Archives, Ref 386/B 2/2: 'P'. Pasini Grimani Palace Venice bought at Venice Exposition 1887 for £160 Ditto Venice Bridge of the Apostles bought at the Turin[;] Exhibition of 188[;] of Sepia Bescuccia director of Fine Arts for £140 I think or £160'. It is in an inventory and valuation dated 22 June 1912 that was compiled for Cooper by Pawsey & Payne, Sheffield Archives, Ref 386/B 2/3 (1-2) detailed as follows: 31A PASINIThe Bridge of the Apostles 10 ½ x 13 ½ [£] 36. 15. - (Cost me more I believe)'

Rights Owner Published by kind permission of the Cooper Gallery Trustees
Author Dr Madeleine Korn



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