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Veronese and Workshop
The Annunciation

c. 1583/1584
oil on canvas
98.4 x 75.3 cm (38 3/4 x 29 5/8 in)
Victor Amédée, 3rd prince de Carignan [1690-1741], Paris; (his estate sale, Hôtel de Soissons, Paris, 30 July 1742 and days following, unnumbered lots, bought in); (his estate sale, Hôtel de Soissons, Paris, 18 June 1743 and days following, no. 101); purchased by Thibaut for Louis François I de Bourbon, prince de Conti [1717-1776], Paris; (his estate sale, Palais du Temple, Paris, 8 April 1777 and days following, no. 104); purchased by Jacques Langlier for Antoine Poullain [d. 1780], Paris; (Poullain estate sale, Hôtel de Bullion, Paris, 15-21 March 1780, 3rd day, no. 4); (Jean Baptiste Pierre Le Brun, Paris); Joseph Hyacinthe François de Paul de Rigaud, comte de Vaudreuil [1740-1817], Paris; (his sale, Hôtel de Bullion, Paris, 24-25 November 1784, 2nd day, no. 6); (J.P.B. Le Brun, Paris and London); (Le Brun sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 18-19 March 1785, 2nd day, no. 79); Welbore Ellis Agar [1735-1805], London; by inheritance to Welbore Felix Agar and Emmanuel Felix Agar; purchased with the entire Agar collection by Robert Grosvenor, 1st marquess of Westminster [1767-1845], Eaton Hall, Cheshire, England; [1] by inheritance to his son, Richard Grosvenor, 2nd marquess of Westminster [1795-1869], Eaton Hall; by inheritance to his son, Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st duke of Westminster [1825-1899], Eaton Hall; by inheritance to his grandson, Hugh Richard Arthur Grosvenor, 2nd duke of Westminster [1879-1953], Eaton Hall; (Westminster sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 4 July 1924, no. 58); (Buttery, London). (Julius Böhler, Munich and Lucerne); sold 17 February 1925 to Julius H. Haass [d. 1931], Detroit; by inheritance to his wife, Lillian Henkel Haass, until at least 1949. [2] (Newhouse Galleries, New York). (Frederick Mont, Inc., New York), from at least 1956; sold 14 February 1957 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [3] gift 1959 to NGA. [1] The details of the ownership by Carignan, Conti, Vaudreuil, and Agar were provided by Burton Fredericksen, then Director of the Getty Provenance Index, in letters of 10 August and 16 December 1987 to Suzannah Fabing (in NGA curatorial files). In the first five sales listed, the painting was paired with a pendant depicting L'Apparition de notre Seigneur à la Magdeleine (or Noli Me Tangere). As pointed out by Fredericksen in a message to Peter Humfrey of 4 February 2009, the two were sold as parts of the same lot at the Carignan, Conti, Poullain, and Vaudreuil sales, while at the Christie’s sale of 1785, the Noli Me Tangere appears as the following lot (no. 80). The NGA painting is listed in François Basan, ed., Collection de cent-vingt estampes, Paris, 1781, a volume of 120 engravings after paintings that had belonged to the recently deceased “M. Poullain, Receveur Général des Domaines du Roi.” Jean Habert discusses the passage of an Annunciation by Veronese from the Carignan to the Conti and Poullain collections, with further bibliography, without, however, identifying it with the NGA painting. In all these collections the Annunciation was paired with a Noli Me Tangere, identified by Habert with the version in the Musée de Grenoble (inv. MG7); but while the two works are consistent stylistically, the latter work is of a horizontal format (67 x 95 cm), whereas in the sale catalogues they are listed as of identical format and dimensions. (Jean Habert, “Le goût pour la peinture de Véronèse en France à l’époque classique,” in Venise & Paris, 1500-1700: La peinture vénitienne de la Renaissance et sa réception en France, ed. Michel Hochmann, Geneva, 2011: 321. The painting was published in the catalogue of a planned sale of the Agar collection (Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 3 May 1806, no. 34), but Grosvenor purchased the entire collection prior to the sale. [2] The original bill of sale is in NGA curatorial files, sent by the Haass's daughter, Constance Haass McMath, with a letter of 12 February 1962 to NGA curator Perry Cott. Mrs. Haass lent the painting to a 1949 exhibition in Detroit. [3] Betty Mont wrote to Guy Emerson of the Kress Foundation on 5 November 1956 that they had "a lovely 'Annuncation' by Paolo Veronese" in their studio. The invoice from Frederick Mont & Company to the Kress Foundation, for four paintings including the Veronese, is dated 14 February 1957; three payments for the group were completed in September of the same year. (Copies of the letter and invoice are in NGA curatorial files.)
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