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French 18th Century
Portrait of a Young Man

possibly c. 1770
oil on canvas
65.3 x 54.4 cm (25 11/16 x 21 7/16 in)
Félix Doistau, Paris, by 1907; (his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 9-11 June 1909, 1st day, no. 37, as Portrait of an Unknown Man by Fragonard); Ducrey. Dr. Théodore Tuffier [1859-1929], Paris, by 1921 until at least 1926. (Jacques Seligmann and Co., Inc., Paris and New York), by 1948; sold March 1952 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [1] gift 1961 to NGA. [1] Doistau lent the painting to a 1907 exhibition. Tuffier lent the painting to exhibitions in 1921 and 1926, and although Colin Eisler, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian, Oxford, 1977: 336 n. 13, says that according to the Seligmann Gallery Tuffier still owned the painting in 1945, this could not be possible because Tuffier died in 1929. Perhaps the painting remained in Tuffier's family, and they were the "private collection" that lent it to a 1945 exhibition. The Seligmann Gallery sent a pamphlet about the painting to the Kress Foundation in 1948 (Germain Seligman, letter to Stephen Pichetto, 8 April 1948, The Records of Jacques Seligmann & Co., Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., box 76), and showed the painting to the National Gallery's John Walker and Kress Foundation staff in November 1951, noting it had been "acquired in Paris" (Guy Emerson, memo, 7 November 1951); copies of letter and memo in NGA curatorial files. The terms of payment for the invoice of 8 February 1952, from Seligmann to the Kress Foundation for this painting and several other works were met with a check dated 7 March 1952 (annotated copy in NGA curatorial files).
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