Continental School (19th Century)

Seven Panels of the Spanish Inquisition

Continental School (19th Century)

 7 Scene’s of the Spanish Inquisition. Each panel is an oil on canvas. 79 x 43 inches.

The Inquisition was a powerful office set up within the Catholic Church to root out and punish heresy throughout Europe and the Americas. Beginning in the 12th century and continuing for hundreds of years, the Inquisition is infamous for the severity of its tortures and its persecution of Jews and Muslims. Its worst manifestation was in Spain, where the Spanish Inquisition was a dominant force for more than 200 years, resulting in some 32,000 executions.

Pietro Pederzoli (Italian, 1889 – 1975)

“Spirited Card Game”. Oil on canvas. Signed. 12 x 16 inches.


Achille Buzzi (Italian, 19th Century)

“St. Peter’s, Rome”. Watercolor. 29 x 23 inches.

This ancient statue of St. Peter, portrayed as he gives a blessing and preaches, while holding the keys to the kingdom of heaven is famous throughout the world. Some scholars have attributed it to Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302), but others believe that it is a V century casting.

Pilgrims who come to the Basilica traditionally touch and kiss its foot, so that it is literally worn thin. In the Middle Ages pilgrims who reached Rome, touched and kissed the foot of the statue and prayed to St. Peter asking that he be merciful and open the gates of heaven for them if they died during the pilgrimage.

On 29 June, the feast of St. Peter, the statue is clothed with an amice, alb, tiara, stole, red cope and a ring so that it practically seems to come to life. Fine marble, Sicilian jasper, green porphyry and the “marble of St. Peter” decorate the pedestal.

Behind it, there is what seems to be a fine brocade draping, however, it is actually a mosaic. Above the baldachin, in a circular mosaic is a portrait of Pope Pius IX (1847-1878), the first Pope who in nineteen centuries reigned longer than St. Peter himself, who had led the church for twenty-five years. Pius IX sat on Peter’s throne for thirty one.

The famous bronze statue of St. Peter is placed against the pillar of St. Longinus, above an alabaster base that was executed in 1757 by Carlo Marchionni. In this statue St. Peter is seated on a marble see from the early Renaissance, dressed with the philosophical stole, with his left hand holding the keys close to his chest and the right raised in the act of blessing. His right foot protrudes from the previously mentioned base, which is worn by the kisses of the devout.

The identification of the author but also of its exact epoch, is a “vexata quaestio” which has yet to be resolved, with datings ranging between the fifth, or even fourth century and the 13th or 14th centuries. Tradition has it that the statue was commissioned by St. Leo the Great, as a token of gratitude for defeating Attila, and that it used the metal from the statue by Giove Capitolino. But, in reality, the oldest historical information about the work dates back only to the 15th century.

Currently, the almost unanimous opinion is that the Vatican bronze statue dates back to the late 13th century and more specifically to the restricted environment of Arnolfo di Cambio, the artist who created the tabernacles of St. Paul and St. Cecilia, and the sacellum of Bonifacius VIII in the Constantinian Basilica.

The archaic character of the statue of St. Peter sustains the attribution to Arnolfo di Cambio (ca. 1296) since the “antique” modules that are present, such as the so-called “snail” curls of the hair and the beard are found in famous Arnolfian works, matching the “13th century classicism,” which was widespread in the European sculpture of the period.

In 1871, the mosaic altar frontal was placed behind the statue, imitating a brocatello drapery, and above a mosaic medallion with the portrait of Pius IX, in honor of being the first Pope whose papacy lasted more than 25 years, attributed to that of St. Peter and considered by tradition to be insuperable.

W. Firth (20th Century)

“A Musical Interlude”. Oil on canvas. 19 x 24 inches. Dated ” Sep 1900″

Jean Francois Gabriel Chomel (Swiss, 1810 – 1876)

“Gathering of soldiers in the Franco-German War”. Watercolor on paper. 9 x 12 1/2 inches.

Franco-German War, also called Franco-Prussian War, (July 19, 1870–May 10, 1871), war in which a coalition of German states led by Prussia defeated France. The war marked the end of French hegemony in continental Europe and resulted in the creation of a unified Germany.

19th Century

“Gentleman Smoking in the Kitchen”. Signed “Alex”. Oil on board. 16 x 12 inches.

E. Mertens (19th Century)

“The Gester”. Oil on canvas. 25 x 19 inches.

Venetian Master (18th Century)

“The Death of Cato”. Oil on canvas. 24 x 32 inches.

Cato (95 BC to 46 BC) was a late Republic politician and statesman, and an avid follower of the Stoic philosophy. He was famous for his distaste of the corruption of his times and was unwilling to live in a world led by Julius Caesar. This led him to attempt suicide, by stabbing himself with his own sword.

According to the Greek writer and biographer Plutarch (c. AD 46): Cato did not immediately die of the wound; but struggling, fell off the bed, and throwing down a little mathematical table that stood by, made such a noise that the servants, hearing it, cried out. And immediately his son and all his friends came into the chamber, where, seeing him lie weltering in his own blood, great part of his bowels out of his body, but himself still alive and able to look at them, they all stood in horror.

The physician went to him, and would have put in his bowels, which were not pierced, and sewed up the wound; but Cato, recovering himself, and understanding the intention, thrust away the physician, plucked out his own bowels, and tearing open the wound, immediately expired.

Lucien C. Pernett (British, 19th Century)

French Revolution painting with numerous figures throughout and fires in the distance. Signed. Oil on canvas. 19 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches.

Frank Dadd (British, 1851 – 1929)

“The Story”. Oil on canvas. Signed. 15 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches.

Frank Dadd was born on the 28th March 1851 in London. He studied at the Royal College of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools, where he won a silver medal for drawing from life. He commenced black and white work in about 1882 and worked as an illustrator for the Illustrated London News from 1878-1884 and then at The Graphic.

He specialized in historical and genre paintings, and in addition illustrated several books including “All is not gold that glitters”, “The Flag Beer and Skittles”, “The Captain of the Troop”, “Follow the drum”, “Coaching days and Coaching ways”, and Baring Goulds “The Broom Squire” and “Types of the Army and Navy”.

He was honored to have his paintings chosen for exhibition at the Royal Academy from 1878. He was elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colors in 1884 and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1888.

He lived at Wallington in Surrey and later at Teignmouth in Devon where he died on 7th March 1929.

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About The Curator

Carol Seelig Eastman is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Knohl Collection. In this role, she passionately explores the artist’s personal, social, and political world and places their art in a meaningful historical context. Her thematic exhibitions provide visual and educational stimulation that attract and engage a diverse museum audience.