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Simone Martini
The Angel of the Annunciation

c. 1330
tempera on poplar panel
painted surface (on recto): 29.5 x 20.5 cm (11 5/8 x 8 1/16 in)
Charles John Canning, 2nd Viscount Canning and later 1st Earl Canning [1812-1862]; by bequest to his sister, Harriet Canning de Burgh [1804-1876], Marchioness of Clanricarde; by inheritance to her daughter, Margaret Anne de Burgh Beaumont [1831-1888]; probably by inheritance to her son, Wentworth Canning Blackett Beaumont, 1st Viscount Allendale [1860-1923]; [1] said to have been in the collection of Henry George Charles Lascelles, 6th earl of Harewood [1882-1947], Harewood House, Leeds, Yorkshire; [2] Lionello Venturi [1895-1961], New York; [3] sold 1936 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1939 to NGA.

[1] The back of the painting bears a paper label printed with a coat of arms with three Moors’ heads in profile and the coronet of a viscount above. Underneath is painted the name CANNING. As Ellis Waterhouse’s note of 1980 (in NGA curatorial files) informed the Gallery, this can only refer to Charles John Canning; on Canning see also Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire, 24th ed., London, 1862: 171. The paper label also is inscribed with the handwritten name of Lady Margaret Beaumont and the number 32. According to Waterhouse’s note, this can only be Margaret Anne de Burgh, daughter of Ulick John de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde, and of Harriet Canning, sister and heir of Charles John Canning. Margaret Anne married Wentworth Blackett Beaumont (1829-1907) in 1856. The painting probably was inherited by their son, Wentworth Canning Blackett Beaumont.
[2] Lascelles is named in Lionello Venturi’s February 1936 letter to the restorer Stephen Pichetto (copy in NGA curatorial files) as the person from whom “about two years ago,” i.e., in c. 1934, the painting was acquired by the unnamed person (Venturi) who owned it in February 1936. Lascelles was a grandson of Lady Elizabeth Joanna de Burgh (a sister of Margaret Anne de Burgh Beaumont), who had married Henry Thynne Lascelles, 4th earl Harewood, who became the heir of Elizabeth’s and Margaret’s unmarried brother, Herbert George de Burgh-Canning, 2nd (and last) marquess of Clanricarde. However, according to Ellis Waterhouse (see note 1) the Washington panel “didn’t belong ever to the Earl of Harewood (it was one of the few Clanricarde pictures which didn’t).” Indeed, the panel is not included in Tancred Borenius’ catalogue of the Harewood collection; the introduction indicates that the 2nd marquess of Clanricarde bequeathed to Lascelles mainly pictures by English eighteenth-century masters; see Tancred Borenius, Catalogue of the pictures and drawings at Harewood House and elswhere in the collection of the Earl of Harewood, Oxford, 1936: vii.
[3] Fern Rusk Shapley (Catalogue of the Italian Paintings, 2 vols., Washington, D.C., 1979: 1:431) states that Venturi sold the panel to Samuel H. Kress in 1936.
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