01 April 2012

A Range of Mental States

You know it's a slow week on Chess for All Ages when every post features a chess image. So far we've had Chess Even Sells Women's Accessories, The Giant Claw, and Chess at Disney's Magic Kingdom. For this post, the next in the series Top eBay Chess Items by Price, we have the image shown below.

Titled 'Federico Andreotti chess game painting 1876 London, Italian artist Italy', the painting sold as 'Best Offer' for US $2400 (plus $600 shipping). It was also a slow fortnight on eBay, as this was one of only three auctions that interested me. If I hadn't picked the painting, I would have chosen a tournament book signed by Fischer. The otherwise unremarkable book sold for $837.77 after a bidding frenzy involving ten bidders where the price doubled in the last 30 seconds.

I much prefer this painting to the previous one featured in Who's Really Winning. Its description said,

Stunning 1876 painting by international Italian artist, Federico Andreotti (1847-1930). Oil on canvas measures 20 x 30 inches. Depicted here is a dramatically and intense game of chess between two courtly gentlemen of the 17th century. Andreotti's ability and level of competence to express a range of attitudes and mental states is quite impressive. Lighting effects are masterful. Beautiful detailing in documentation of costumes. The painting was clearly made in London (and almost certainly for an English patron) as indicated [by] the canvas maker, and attests to Andreotti's presence in London during this time. [...]

Signed and dated lower right. Signature is revealed to be original and authentic under UV light investigation. Windsor & Newton of London stamp on canvas, verso.

This was followed by a three paragraph bio of Andreotti. Curious about the bio's source, I entered the phrase 'studies prepared him well for his chosen subject matter' and got dozens of matches. I couldn't figure out which one was the original.

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