Style of Desiderio da Settignano
Saint John the Baptist
50.5 x 38.5 x 18.5 cm (19 7/8 x 15 3/16 x 7 5/16 in)
Émile Gavet [d. 1906], Paris; sold 1892, possibly through a dealer, to William Kissam Vanderbilt [1849-1920], New York, and Marble House, Newport;  his wife, Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt [1853-1933, later Mrs. Oliver H.P. Belmont], Newport and Paris;  (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris), by 1931;  sold 1941 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1943 to NGA.  See letter to the NGA from James T. Maher dated 17 July 1973, in NGA curatorial files. The bust does not appear in Émile Molinier's two catalogues of the Gavet collection, published in Paris in 1889 and 1894, or the catalogue for the sale of the Gavet collection at the Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 31 May - 9 June 1897.  Vanderbilt and his wife were divorced in 1895, and Alva Vanderbilt married Belmont the following year.  Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles: Series II.A. Files regarding works of art, reel 91, box 236, folder 3: Desiderio: "Bust of St. John the Baptist," terra cotta, 1926-1927, and folder 21: Donatello: "St. John the Baptist's head," Gavet collection, 1932-1946; copies in NGA curatorial files.