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Paolo Veneziano
The Crucifixion

c. 1340/1345
tempera on panel
painted surface: 31 x 38 cm (12 3/16 x 14 15/16 in)
(Italian art market, probably Venice), by 1902. [1] Achillito Chiesa, Milan, early twentieth century; [2] (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Florence); sold July 1934 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [3] gift 1939 to NGA.

[1] In his article of 1912, Roger Fry reproduces the painting together with another, similarly attributed to the school of Semitecolo, explaining that it was present “some years ago in the market in Italy” (Roger Fry, "Exhibition of Pictures and the Early Venetian School at the Burlington Fine Arts Club," The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 21 [1912]: 47, pl. 2). Fry had probably seen it in October 1902; in fact, in a letter dated 10 October 1902, written to his wife from Venice, he reports, “I’ve had great luck today, managed to get to see some pictures by Semitecolo what I’ve never managed before”; Letters of Roger Fry, ed. Denys Sutton, 2 vols., New York, 1972: 1:196.
[2] The collection of Achillito Chiesa, which the great art dealer Luigi Bellini calls the “più importante e intelligente collezione di oggetti d’arte italiana fondata in questi ultimi cinquant’anni in Italia” ("the most important, and intelligent, collection of Italian art objects formed in Italy within the last fifty years") (Luigi Bellini, Nel mondo degli antiquari, Florence, 1947: 223–224), was dispersed between 1925 and 1931 because of the collector’s financial difficulties; see Elisabeth E. Gardner, A Bibliographical Repertory of Italian Private Collections, 3 vols., ed. Chiara Ceschi and Katharine Baetjer, Vicenza, 1998: 1:227-228.
[3] The bill of sale is dated 13 July 1934 (copy in NGA curatorial files).
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