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Bernardo Daddi
Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels

c. 1345
tempera on panel
painted surface: 50.2 x 24.2 cm (19 3/4 x 9 1/2 in)
According to a tradition reported by a previous owner, Virgoe Buckland, the panel comes from the Vallombrosa abbey near Florence and in 1872 it was given by the abbot to the painter and restorer J. Stark; [1] purchased from Stark by Sir Henry Doulton [1820-1897]; [2] his heirs; [3] by inheritance to Commander Virgoe Buckland [d. 1949], Hove, Sussex; [4] (sale, Sotheby’s, London, 2 November 1949, no. 76, as by Bernardo Daddi); (Mannenti), probably the agent for (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonaccossi, Florence); sold July 1950 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [5] gift 1952 to NGA.

[1] Richard Offner (A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Sec. III, vol. VIII. New York, 1958: 16) provides the early provenance, which had been communicated to him by Buckland. After a first suppression in 1808, the expelled monks were able to return to Vallombrosa, which was already deprived of its archive, library, and works of art. In 1866, however, the abbey was suppressed for good and some years later its church transformed into the parish church. See Nicola R. Vasaturo, Guido Morozzi, Guiseppe Marchini, and Umberto Baldini, Vallombrosa nel IX centenario della morte del fondatore Giovanni Gualberto. 12 luglio 1703, Florence, 1973: 141-143. The abbot in those years, from 1867 to 1877, was Germano Gai, who, indeed, may have owned the painting, and taken it with him when he was obliged to leave the abbey. On Gai see Francesco Tarani, L’ordine vallombrosano. Note storico – cronologiche, Florence, 1920: 28, 151-152. The identity of "J. Stark" is uncertain. Possibly he may have been Arthur James Stark (1831–1902), a landscape painter; see Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart., ed. Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker, and Hans Vollmer, 37 vols., Leipzig, 1907-1950 (reprinted 1970-1971): 31(1937):478.
[2] Sir Henry Doulton was instrumental in developing the firm of Royal Doulton Pottery and served as vice president of the Society of Art in London; see The Dictionary of National Biography, London, 1906: 358.
[3] Offner 1958, 16 (and repeated by later authors), says Doulton bequeathed the painting to “his daughter, Mrs. Buckland.” However, Doulton's daughters were Sarah Lilian, who married John Kinnersley Hooper, and Katherine Duneau, who was unmarried. "Mrs. Buckland" would have been one of Doulton's two younger sisters, either Jane (1824-1892), who married Thomas Buckland, or Marianne (1829-by 1895), who married Virgoe Buckland (1825-1883). Virgoe Buckland and Henry Doulton were the executors of the will of Henry's father, John Doulton (1793-1873), and in that document Virgoe Buckland is described as an "auctioneer and surveyor" (will made 22 February 1873; John Doulton died 21 May 1873; will proved 29 October 1873; copy in NGA curatorial files). In his will Henry Doulton bequeaths "all my furniture books pictures prints musical instruments works of art...unto my Trustees Upon trust to divide the same in equal shares as nearly as they can having regard to the money value thereof between such of them my said son and two daughters as shall survive me." (See the copy of the will [proved 7 January 1898] and information about the Doulton and Buckland families, in NGA curatorial files.)
[4] The relationship of Commander Virgoe Buckland to Henry Doulton's daughters and sisters has not yet been determined. Commander Buckland died 8 May 1949, and his estate consigned the painting to the sale in November of that year. His will (proved 12 August 1949; copy in NGA curatorial files) leaves money to various "cousins," including several with the surname Buckland and Doulton. Other than his wearing apparel, no specific possessions are itemized.
[5] “Mannenti” is the name recorded as the buyer at the 1949 sale. The Kress Foundation made an offer to Contini-Bonacossi on 17 June 1950, for a group of 125 paintings and one sculpture, including NGA 1952.5.61. The offer was accepted on July 1, and the works of art were released to the foundation on July 6 after the first payment was received. See copies of correspondence in NGA curatorial files.
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