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Giovanni Bellini
The Infant Bacchus

probably 1505/1510
oil on panel, transferred to panel
50.1 x 39 cm (19 11/16 x 15 3/8 in)
Possibly Bortolo Dafino (Bartolomeo Da Fin), Venice, by 1648. [1] Frederick Richards Leyland [1831-1892], London; (his estate sale, Christie's, London, 28 May 1892, no. 107, as by Giolfino); (Charles Fairfax Murray, London); [2] sold to Robert Henry [1850-1929] and Evelyn Holford [1856-1943] Benson, London and Buckhurst Park, Sussex; [3] sold 1927 with the Benson collection to (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); sold 1949 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [4] gift 1961 to NGA. [1] The painting is often identified as the one described in 1648 by Carlo Ridolfi, writing about the Dafino collection, as "un Bachetto con vaso in mano, di Giorgione" ("a young Bacchus holding a vase in his hand, by Giorgione"); Carlo Ridolfi, Le maraviglie dell'arte, ouero Le vite de gl'illustri pittori veneti, e dello stato, 2 vols., Venice, 1648: 2:201. [2] The buyer's name was kindly supplied by Christie's Archives, London (e-mail of 23 October 2013, in NGA curatorial files). [3] Sebag-Montefiore, Charles, "R.H. Benson as a Collector," in Jehanne Wake, Kleinwort Benson. The History of Two Families in Banking, Oxford, 1997: 486. This listing of the painting indicates it was purchased at the Leyland sale. Murray was possibly acting for the Bensons, but Christie's documents the sale price as 267 Pounds (see note 2), and Benson records have a purchase price of 700 Pounds (letter, 2 February 1976, Peter Wake [Benson's grandson] to Anna Voris, quoting Benson's records of prices he paid; in NGA curatorial files). [4] Fern Rusk Shapley, Catalogue of the Italian Paintings, 2 vols., Washington, D.C., 1979: 1:54-55.
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