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Sano di Pietro
The Crucifixion

c. 1445/1450
tempera on poplar panel
24.1 x 33.6 cm (9 1/2 x 13 1/4 in)
Possibly Contessa Giustiniani, Genoa; [1] (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Rome); sold July 1930 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [2] gift 1939 to NGA. [1] Of the members of various branches of the Giustiniani family in Genoa in 1930, Vincenzo, Paolo, and Giovanni Battista are recorded as having the title of Conte (see Vittorio Spreti, Enciclopedia storico-nobiliare italiana, Milan, 1930: 3:497). Presumably the collection that included the NGA painting belonged to one of them and was a recently formed one. Fern Rusk Shapley (Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools XVI-XVIII Century, London, 1973: 429) lists in the index of former owners five paintings that passed from Contessa Giustiniani through Contini-Bonacossi to the Kress Collection in 1930. (The bill of sale that includes these paintings [see following note] lists two others that are also referred to on the bill as "from the Collection of Countess Giustiniani, Genoa," although they are indexed in Shapley under Max Bondi and not Giustiniani.) Two of the five paintings indexed under the Giustiniani name appear to have been on the market just a few years before they passed to the Kress Collection: the Virgin and Child with Saints, attributed to the Master of San Lucchese (attributed to Jacopo di Cione by Shapley and to Giottino on the bill of sale), which now belongs to the De Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco (no. 61-44-2), was sold with other paintings of the Max Bondi collection (including the two mentioned above that Shapley indexes under Bondi) only in 1929 (Milan, Galleria Lurati, 9-20 December, no. 44); and the Sleeping Girl by Giuseppe Angeli (listed as by Giovanni Piazzetta on the bill), now in the Chazen Musem of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, no. 61.4.2, was still exhibited in 1925 in Berlin as part of the Grabowsky collection (Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum Verein, Gemälde Alter Meister aus berliner Besitz, June-August 1925, Berlin, no. 229). [2] The bill of sale for several paintings, including the NGA 1939.1.45, is dated 15 July 1930 (copy in NGA curatorial files).
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