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Fra Carnevale
The Annunciation

c. 1445/1450
tempera on panel
87.6 x 62.8 cm (34 1/2 x 24 3/4 in)
Prince Ferdinando Lorenzo Strozzi [1821-1878], Florence, by 1857/1858. [1] Louis-Charles Timbal [1821-1880], Paris; [2] sold 1872 with his collection to Gustave Dreyfus [1837-1914], Paris; his heirs; sold 1930 with th entire Dreyfus collection to (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London and New York); [3] sold May 1936 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [4] gift 1939 to NGA. [1] The painting was seen there by Cavalcaselle probably during his stay in Florence in 1857-1858 (see Joseph Archer Crowe and Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle, A New History of Painting in Italy, from the II to the XVI Century, 3 vols., London, 1864-1866: 1(1864):348; and Donata Levi, Cavalcaselle. Il pioniere della conservazione dell'arte italiana, Turin, 1988: 122-132). Otto Mündler saw the painting at the Palazzo Strozzi in April 1958; see The Travel Diaries of Otto Mündler 1855-1858, ed. Carol Togneri Dowd, Walpole Society 51 (1985): 220, 291. Facing economic difficulties in the late 1870s, the family sold the most valuable pieces in the gallery after the death of Prince Ferdinando Lorenzo (see Beatric Paolozzi Strozzi, "Ferdinando Strozzi. Appunti di storia ottocentesca," in Palazzo Strozzi, metà millennio: 1489-1989, Atti del convegno di studi, Firenze, 3-6 luglio 1989, Rome, 1991: 59, and Wilhelm von Bode, Mein Leben, ed. Thomas W. Gaehtgens and Barbara Paul, 2 vols., Berlin, 1997 [original ed. 1930]: 1:131); NGA 1939.1.218, however, must have been sold during his lifetime. Unfortunately, as Dr. Cristina Gelli informed Miklòs Boskovits, the inventory of the Strozzi collection compiled in 1815 by the notary Domenico Del Podestà and deposited at the Archivio di Stato in Florence is now lost. [2] The painter and collector Timbal must have acquired the painting sometime before 1872 when, during the siege of Paris, he decided to sell his entire collection to Gustave Dreyfus; see Musées Nationaux. Catalogue de la Collection Timbal, Paris, 1882: 5, and Edward Fowles, Memories of Duveen Brothers, London, 1976: 187. [3] See Fowles 1976: 187, and Dora Landau, "Notes from Abroad," International Studio 96 (August 1930): 65. [4] The Duveen Brothers letter confirming the sale of thirteen paintings and one sculpture, including "an oil painting representing 'The Annunciation' by Francesco Pesellino...Attributed by Mr. Bernhard Berenson to 'The Carrand Master'," is dated 18 May 1936; the provenance is given as "Dreyfus Colln." (copy in NGA curatorial files; Box 474 Folder 5, Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles).
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