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Margaritone d'Arezzo
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Four Saints

c. 1240/1245
tempera on panel
97.3 × 49.9 × 1.3 cm (38 5/16 × 19 5/8 × 1/2 in)
Executed for the church of a Benedictine monastery in the area of Arezzo, possibly for the Badia delle Sante Flora e Lucilla near the city walls; [1] probably (art market, Rome); acquired by William Blundell Spence [1814–1900], Florence and London, by 1859; [2] Ralph Nicholson Wornum [1812–1877], London, by 1865. [3] Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers [1827–1900], Rushmore House and King John’s House, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, by 1894; [4] by descent to his grandson, George Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers [1890–1966], Hinton St. Mary, Dorset, by 1926. [5] (Robert Langton Douglas [1864–1951], London); (Arthur Ruck, London); [6] sold to Philip Lehman [1861–1947], New York, by 1928; sold June 1943 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [7] gift 1952 to NGA.

[1] This is suggested by the presence in the background of the painting of three saints identifiable as Benedict, Flora, and Lucilla. On the two latter saints and their cult, see Giuseppe Palazzini, “Lucilla, Flora, Eugenio e compagni,” in Bibliotheca sanctorum, 15 vols., Rome, 1961-2000: 8(1967):275-276.
[2] On Spence, a painter, collector and dealer, see Donata Levi, “William Blundell Spence a Firenze,” in Studi e ricerche di collezionismo e museografia. Firenze 1820 – 1920, Pisa, 1985: 85-149. On 27 July 1859, Spence offered for sale to Lord Lindsay three pictures he had received from Rome shortly before, stating that one of them was signed by Margarito. John Fleming ("Art Dealing in the Risorgimento II - III,” The Burlington Magazine 121 (1979): 503 n. 62) plausibly identifies this otherwise undescribed painting with NGA 1952.5.12; see also Hugh Brigstocke, “Lord Lindsay as a collector,” Bullettin of the John Rylands University Library of Machester 64, n° 2 (1982): 321 n. 4. Lord Lindsay did not buy the panel, which evidently remained for some time with Spence.
[3] Wornum was Keeper of the National Gallery, London, from 1854 until his death. He lent the painting to an exhibition at the British Institution in 1865.
[4] The names of Wornum and Pitt-Rivers are given by Oskar Wulff (“Zwei Tafelbilder des Duecento in Kaiser – Friederich – Museum,” Jahrbuch der Königlich preussischen Kunstsammlungen, 37 (1916): 92 n. 6) and by Robert Lehman (The Philip Lehman Collection, New York and Paris,1928: no. 1). Lehman lists first the Pitt-Rivers collection and then that of Wornum. However, Wornum died in 1877, and, as Daniela Parenti kindly pointed out to Miklós Boskovits, it was only in 1880 that Augustus Henry Lane Fox assumed the surname Pitt-Rivers and took up residence at Rushmore. The painting is described in 1894 by Roach Le Schonix as the earliest European picture displayed by Pitt-Rivers in King John’s House at Tollard Royal as part of “a valuable series of small original pictures illustrating the history of painting from the earliest times. . . . ” (“Notes on Archaeology in Provincial Museums. No. XXXVII–The Museums at Farnham, Dorset, and at King John’s House, Tollard Royal,” The Antiquary 30 [July–December 1894]: 166–171).
[5] The painting is described as among those seen on 19 June 1926, by staff members of Duveen Brothers, Inc. (Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles: Scouts Books--England, Things Seen, 1922-1935, reel 71, box 201, folder 1; kindly brought to the attention of NGA by an e-mail, 7 July 2004, from Maria Gilbert of the Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance, Getty Research Institute, in NGA curatorial files).
[6] Denys Sutton, "Robert Langton Douglas. Part III," Apollo CIX, no. 208 (June 1979): 459 (fig. 22), 468, provides the information that Douglas sold the painting to Ruck, but implies the sale took place before the 1920s, which is not correct (see note 5).
[7] The bill of sale for the Kress Foundation’s purchase of fifteen paintings from the Lehman collection, including NGA 1952.5.12, is dated 11 June 1943; payment was made four days later (copy in NGA curatorial files). The documents concerning the 1943 sale all indicate that Philip Lehman’s son Robert Lehman (1892–1963) was owner of the paintings, but it is not clear in the Lehman Collection archives at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, whether Robert made the sale for his father or on his own behalf. See Laurence Kanter’s email of 6 May 2011, about ownership of the Lehman collection, in NGA curatorial files.
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