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Giuseppe Maria Crespi
Tarquin and Lucretia

c. 1695/1700
oil on canvas
195 x 171.5 cm (76 3/4 x 67 1/2 in)
Possibly Palazzo Barbazza, Bologna, by 1739 until at least the 1760s. [1] Probably Duke Albert von Sachsen-Teschen [1738 1822], Bratislava, Brussels, and Vienna, by 1768 [as by Mattia Preti]. [2] (Guillaume Verbelen, Brussels); (his sale, Brussels, 8 October 1833, no. 148, as Mattia Preti). J.J. Chapuis [d. 1865], Brussels; (his sale, De Donker and Vergote, Brussels, 4 December 1865 and days following, no. 320, as by Mattia Preti). [3] (M.A. Almas, Paris, 1937). [4] (Le Bouheler, Paris); purchased 1938 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [5] gift 1952 to NGA.

[1] Giampietro Zanotti, Storia dell'Accademia Clementina di Bologna, 2 vols., Bologna, 1739: 2:58; Marcello Oretti, "Le pitture...della Città di Bologna", 3 vols., Biblioteca Comunale, Bologna, MS B104, in Marcello Oretti e il patrimonio artistico privato bolognese. (Documenti 22), edited by Emilia Calbi and Daniela Scaglietti Kelescian, Bologna, 1984: 87.
[2] According to the Verbelen and Chapuis sale catalogues. Albert's drawing of the pendant listed in those catalogues as also from his collection, Ulysses Abducting Andromache's Son Astyanax, is dated 1768 and bears an inscription attributing the painting to Mattia Preti. This drawing was engraved in 1778 by Jacob Schmuzer: 200 Jahre Albertina: Herzog Albert von Sachsen-Teschen und seine Kunstsammlung, Exh. cat. Graphische Sammlung Albertina, 2 vols., Vienna, 1969: 1:nos. 76-77. The Hecuba Blinding Polymnestor in the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, often suggested as a pendant to the NGA Lucretia, also came from Albert von Sachsen-Teschen's collection according to Eduard Fétis, Catalogue descriptif et historique du Musée Royal de Belgique, Brussels, 1864: 370. Fétis stated that the painting, acquired by the museum in 1828, was sold at the public sale of Albert's collection along with two other works by Preti bought by a Brussels collector, presumably the Ulysses and Lucretia in Verbelen's sale. No catalogue of Albert's sale has been located. (The reference to Fétis was provided by H. Pauwels, Conservateur en chef of the Musées Royaux, letter of 14 May 1985, NGA curatorial files.)
[3] The description of the Lucretia in the Chapuis sale catalogue corresponds exactly to the NGA painting; the dimensions given (190 x 194 cm) are somewhat wider, but the NGA painting has been cut down on both sides.
[4] Paul Fierens, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts (letter of 3 December 1948, NGA curatorial files), refers to a note in the files of the Musées Royaux indicating that a Tarquin and Lucretia measuring 195 x 172 cm was offered for sale in 1937 by M.A. Almas, Paris, who considered it the pendant to the Brussels Hecuba.
[5] According to Fern Rusk Shapley, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools XVI-SVIII Century, London, 1973: 101; and Fern Rusk Shapley, Catalogue of Italian Paintings, 2 vols., Washington, D.C., 1979: 1:146.
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