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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Scene from Ancient History

c. 1750
oil on canvas
oval: 140.3 x 109.3 cm (55 1/4 x 43 1/16 in)
Almorò Barbaro [b. 1681], Venice; by descent to Marc Antonio Barbaro [d. 1860]; his sister, Elissa Bassi; sold to (Vicenzo Favenza), by 1866; sold to an unidentified Frenchman, probably a dealer; [1] (Palazzo Barbaro sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 9 February 1874, no. 3); Isaac, comte de Camondo [1851-1911], Paris; [2] (his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 13 February 1893, no. 27); (Eugène Féral); [3] Baron Adolph Carl de Rothschild [1823-1900], Château de Pregny, near Geneva. [4] Dr. Joseph Kranz, Vienna, by 1902. [5] Stefan von Auspitz, Vienna, by 1931; [6] Possibly Daniel George van Beuningen [1877-1955]; (K.W. Bachstitz, The Hague); [7] purchased 1937 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1939 to NGA.

[1] Information about the sale of furnishings and works of art from the Palazzo Barbaro in the 1860s is contained in a letter of 9 February 1924 from Frank Lattimer to B. Burroughs of the Metropolitan Museum (archival envelope, Apotheosis of Francesco Barbaro, Metropolitan Museum, New York). Lattimer was the cousin of Ralph Curtis, then owner of the palace, and found this information in files assembled at the palazzo by Mrs. Curtis.
[2] According to marginal notations in the sale catalogue housed in the Frick Art Reference Library, New York.
[3] According to marginal notations in the Knoedler Fiche copy of the sale catalogue; Cammondo is not named anywhere on the catalogue, but Lugt, vol. 4, No. 51324, lists this as Cammondo's sale. Féral, named as a painter and authority for the paintings included in the sale, may have been acting as agent for Baron Adolph de Rothschild, who is said in a prospectus from the Bachstitz Gallery (in NGA curatorial files; see also note 4) to have purchased the painting at the Cammondo sale.
[4] The prospectus from the Bachstitz Gallery, in NGA curatorial files, states that the painting was presented by Baron Adolphe (sic) von Rothschild of Paris to his daughter on the occasion of her marriage to a Baron von Springer of Vienna, and was subsequently purchased from Baron von Springer's estate by Dr. Kranz. However, Baron Adolphe, though married, died childless. The Getty Provenance Index suggested instead (letter of 15 March 1993 from Martha Hepworth to Eric Garberson, NGA curatorial files) that the painting passed to Adolphe's niece, Valentine Noémi de Rothschild (1886-1969), who in 1911 married Baron Sigismund von Springer (1875-1928), but the painting was already in the collection of Dr. Kranz by 1902.
[5] Catalogued by Heinrich Modern, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Eine Studie, Vienna, 1902: 52 in the Kranz collection.
[6] Borenius, Italian Paintings of the Auspitz Collection, 12, 67, nos. 49-50. This publication cannot be located, but is cited in Tancred Borenius, "The Stefan von Auspitz Collection", Burlington Magazine 61 (1932): 283-288. Borenius 1932: 287, noted that the dissolution of the Auspitz collection in 1932 was necessitated by the Austrian financial crisis of 1931.
[7] Bulletin of the Bachstitz Gallery 1935: 22. When the von Auspitz collection was liquidated in 1932 some or all of it was sold through Bachstitz, while some was acquired by collector Daniel George von Beuningen, and consigned for sale to Bachstitz. The Tiepolo was with Bachstitz by c. 1932, according to a letter inquiring about the painting dated 18 April 1933 from the firm of Jacques Seligmann, New York (Seligmann papers, Archives of American Art, Box 11, copy NGA curatorial files).
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