Attributed to Fra Angelico
The Entombment of Christ
tempera on poplar panel
88.9 x 54.9 cm (35 x 21 5/8 in)
Possibly the Medici family, Florence, by 1492.  (Stefano Bardini [1836-1922], Florence). (Professor Luigi Grassi [1858-1937], Florence); purchased January 1923 by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London and New York).  Henry Goldman [1857-1937], New York, by 1924.  (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London and New York); sold March 1937 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;  gift 1939 to NGA.  See Eugene Müntz, Les Collections des Médicis au XVe siècle, Paris, 1888: 64; among the belongings in Lorenzo de' Medici's chamber is "una tavoletta dipintovi Nostro Signore morto chon molti santi che lo portano al sepolcro, di mano di fra Giovanni" ("a little panel with painted on it Our dead Lord with many saints who are carrying him to the sepulchre, from the hand of Fra Giovanni"). Although the description is by no means precise, the relative rarity of the subject strongly suggests identification with NGA 1939.1.260.  The date of passage of the work to Stefano Bardini is not known (see Fiorenza Scalia and Cristina De Benedictis, Il Museo Bardini à Florence, Milan, 1984: 125). The provenance from the Bardini and Grassi collections is indicated by Frida Schottmüller, Fra Angelico da Fiesole. Des Meisters Gemälde, Berlin and Leipzig, 1924: no. 180, 266. Duveen Brothers Records list the painting as "ex Bardini" and itemize a commission paid to "Tolentino" (X Book, Reel 422, Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles).  The panel was shipped to New York in the spring of 1923, and exhibited there in 1924 as part of the Goldman collection. A letter from Bernard Berenson to Henry Goldman, dated 27 February 1924 (copy in NGA curatorial files), in which the scholar congratulates the collector on the acquisition of "that beautiful Fra Angelico," would indicate the panel was a recent addition. It was likely purchased from Duveen Brothers.  The Duveen Brothers letter confirming the sale of twenty-four paintings, including NGA 1939.1.260, is dated 9 March 1937; provenance is given as "Henry Goldman Collection" (copy in NGA curatorial files; Box 474, Folder 5, Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles).