Woman Holding an Apple
oil on canvas
97.8 × 73.8 cm (38 1/2 × 29 1/16 in)
Probably Michel Particelli d'Hémery [1596-1650], Paris; by inheritance to his son-in-law, Louis Phélypeaux de La Vrillière [1599-1681].  George Wilbraham, M.P. [1779-1852], Delamere House, near Northwich, Cheshire, by 1829;  probably by inheritance to his son, George Fortescue Wilbraham [1815-1885], Delamere House, by 1883;  probably by inheritance to his son, Major Hugh Edward Wilbraham, M.B.E. [1857-1930], Delamere House, by 1914;  purchased January 1929 by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris);  sold 1938 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;  gift 1939 to NGA.  As first pointed out by Christel Haffner in an unpublished dissertation of 1983, the picture is almost certainly identical with one listed as item 66 in the posthumous inventory (1650) of Particelli, Superintendent of Finance under Louis XIV of France: “Item une autre tableau du Tissien representant une dame venitienne plus qu’à demy corps tenant une grenade” (Another picture by Titian, representing a Venetian woman holding a pomegranate, longer than half-length). When it was inherited soon afterwards by La Vrillière, it was described as “portrait d’une femme tenant une pomme en ses mains ayant une guirlande de fleurs su sa tête” (portrait of a woman holding an apple in her hands, and with a garland of flowers on her head). See Mickaël Szanto, “Venise, Reni et la romanité. La collection de tableaux de Michel Particelli d’Hémery (1650),” in Venise & Paris 1500–1700: La peinture vénitienne de la Renaissance et sa réception en France, ed. Michel Hochmann, Geneva, 2011: 224, 259, 274.  The painting was lent by G. Wilbraham to an exhibition at the British Institution in 1829.  The painting was lent by G.F. Wilbraham to an exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1883.  The painting was lent by H.E. Wilbraham to an exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1914.  The painting was seen at Wilbraham's by Duveen agents in 1927, per the Duveen "Scout book," but at that time Wilbraham indicated he was not interested in selling his pictures. He had changed his mind by October 1928, and received the court order necessary to make the sale on 14 January 1929 (Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles: Series I.D, General business records, reel 71, box 201: Scouts' books, folder 1: England, "Things seen"; Series II.A, Files regarding works of art, reel 150, box 295: Titian, folder 18: Titian, "Portrait of a Lady," ex H.E. Wilbraham; Series II.A, Files regarding works of art, reel 158, box 303: Weyden, van der - Zurbaran, folder 7: Wilbraham Collection; copies in NGA curatorial files).  Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles: Series I.D, General business records, reel 54, box 151: House invoices, 1935-1944; copy in NGA curatorial file.