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Veronese Workshop (Possibly Gabriele Caliari)
Saint Lucy and a Donor

c. 1585/1595
oil on canvas
180.6 x 115.3 cm (71 1/8 x 45 3/8 in)
Probably commissioned for the Abriani Chapel, Duomo, Montagnana, near Padua. [1] Vincenzo Ranuzzini [1726-1800], apostolic legate to Venice; sent by him 1782 to Bologna. [2] David John Carnegie, 10th earl of Northesk [1865-1921], Longwood, Winchester, Hampshire; (sale, Sotheby's, London, 30 June 1915, no. 108, withdrawn). [3] A.M. Lever; [4] (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 9 February 1925, no. 128); purchased by Kendal, possibly for (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Rome and Florence); sold 1954 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [5] gift 1961 to NGA. [1] E-mail from Mauro Lucco to NGA curator David Alan Brown, dated 22 January 2011, in NGA curatorial files. Lucco recognized a painting in the church of San Francesco in Montagnana, near Padua, as a copy of the NGA painting. Since the copy was recorded by the local historian Giacinto Foratti in the mid-19th century hanging on the side wall of the former Abriani Chapel, Lucco deduced that the NGA painting was originally painted as the altarpiece for this chapel, situated to the right (facing) of the chancel, and that the figure of the kneeling donor probably represents a member of the Abriani family. The painting must then have been removed at the time of the refurbishment and rededication of the chapel in the 1720s and sold off, leaving the copy on the wall. See Giacinto Foratti, Cenni storici e descrittivi di Montagnana, 2 vols., Venice, 1862-1863: 2(1863):124 ("Si rimarca pure sopra una parete un quadro, che rappresenta Santa Lucia, onde diede il modello Paolo Veronese. Era anche questo altare dei suddetti conti Abriani"). Detlev von Hadeln suggested (in a 1926 manuscript opinion, in NGA curatorial files) that the painting was the one described in 1648 by Carlo Ridolfi as having been painted by Veronese for the church of Santa Croce in Belluno (Carlo Ridolfi, Le Maraviglie dell' arte, 2 vols., Venice, 1648: 1:303; Berlin edition, 1914-1924, ed. by Baron Detlev von Hadeln, 1[1914]: 317). The same text is also found in Ridolfi's earlier Vita di Paolo Caliari Veronese, Venice, 1646: 23. Citing Florio Miari (Dizionario storico-artistico-letterario bellunese, Bologna, 1843: 140), von Hadeln noted that the church was torn down in the early 19th century and that the painting had disappeared; he located it again in Contini-Bonacossi's collection. It now turns out that Ridolfi was referring instead to NGA 1984.28.1, Veronese's The Martyrdom and Last Communion of Saint Lucy. [2] Fabio Chiodini, “Una sosta bolognese per una tela di Paolo Caliari e indizi per un possibile autoritratti dell’artista,” Arte Cristiana 93 (2005): 116-117. The painting was an intended gift to Pope Pius VI. Chiodini kindly shared with NGA his discovery of the previously unpublished document that recounts this transfer, which is in Ms. B 2382, pp. 270-271, Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; see his e-mails of 13 and 30 September 2004, in NGA curatorial files. [3] Lot number 108 is crossed out in the copy of the sale catalogue held by the library of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (copy in NGA curatorial files). The sale catalogue indicates that the painting was part of the property removed not from the earl’s Scottish seat of Ethie Castle near Arbroath, but from his English residence of Longwood, Winchester. [4] This name is provided by the Getty Provenance Index, Getty Research Center, Los Angeles. [5] On 7 June 1954 the Kress Foundation made an offer to Contini-Bonacossi for 16 paintings, including the Veronese. In the draft of a document prepared for the count's signature in connection with the offer this painting is described as one "which came from my personal collection in Florence." The count accepted the offer on 30 June 1954; the final payment for the purchase was ultimately made in early 1957, after the count's death in 1955. (See copies of correspondence in NGA curatorial files.)
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