Workshop or Follower of Titian
Venus Blindfolding Cupid
c. 1566/1570 or c. 1576/1580
oil on canvas
122.4 x 97.3 cm (48 3/16 x 38 5/16 in)
Charles Jervas (or Jarvis) [1675?-1739], London; (his sale, at his residence, London, 11-20 March 1739, 8th day, no. 543, as by Titian);  purchased by Richard Temple, 1st viscount Cobham [1675-1749], Stowe House, Buckingham;  by inheritance to his sister, Hester Temple Grenville, 1st countess Temple [d. 1752], Stowe House; by inheritance to her son, Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd earl Temple [1711-1779], Stowe House;  by inheritance to his nephew, George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st marquess of Buckingham [1753-1813], London and Stowe House; by inheritance to his son, Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 1st duke of Buckingham and Chandos [1776-1839], London, Stowe Park, and Avington Park; by inheritance to his son, Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 2nd duke of Buckingham and Chandos [1797- 1861], (Buckingham and Chandos sale, by Christie's at Stowe House, 15 September 1848, no. 422);  purchased by Peter Norton, London, who apparently sold the painting back to the Buckingham and Chandros family; the 2nd duke's son, Richard Plantagenet Campbell Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 3rd duke of Buckingham and Chandos [1823-1889], Stowe House; probably by inheritance to his daughter, Mary, 11th baroness Kinloss [1852-1944], Stowe House and Scotland; (Kinloss sale, at Stowe House, 5 July 1921, no. 1697, apparently bought in by the family); probably by inheritance to her daughter, the Hon. Mrs. Thomas Close Smith [1886-1972, née Caroline Mary Elizabeth Morgan-Grenville], Boycott Manor, Buckinghamshire, by 1944.  (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi [1878-1955], Florence and Rome); sold 1950 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1952 to NGA.  As “Venus hood-winking Cupid, the Elements offering Tribute," by Titian; see A Catalogue of the Collection of Pictures, Prints and Drawings late of Charles Jarvis, Esq., London, 1740: 8th day’s sale, 18, no. 543. The sale catalogue identifies the deceased owner as the Principal Painter to Kings George I and George II, and explains that the nearly 600 pictures in his collection were “chiefly collected by him, in a series of Forty Years, in Rome, Lombardy, Venice, France and Flanders, and from the Cabinets of many of the English Nobility.” See also Fern Rusk Shapley, Catalogue of the Italian Paintings, National Gallery of Art, 2 vols., Washington, 1979: 1:506 n. 12, and the correspondence from Colin Anson in NGA curatorial files.  See the MS copy of the Jervas sale catalogue in the National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (MSL/ 1938/ 867), f. 58, where the buyer is identified as Lord Cobham, and the price paid as £16.10s. See also Lord Cobham’s Account Book, 1736-41, Huntington Library, San Marino, California, Stowe Papers (H.E.H. ST130), entry for March 20, 1739?/1740: “To a large picture bought at Mr Jarvises Sale by Mr Squib as by Bill £17-1-0,” quoted by Shapley 1979, 1:506 n. 12, and in the correspondence from Colin Anson in NGA curatorial files.  Stowe: A Description of the House and Gardens, London, 1763, and subsequent editions. As recorded by Colin Anson, “The Picture Collection at Stowe,” Apollo 97 (June 1973): 597 n. 2, the catalog of the Stowe collection went through fifteeen editions between 1759 and 1832, and had to be constantly revised to take account of the rehanging of the pictures. For the various rooms at Stowe in which the Venus Blindfolding Cupid is recorded, see Shapley 1979, 1:505-506 n. 4, and the correspondence from Colin Anson in NGA curatorial files.  Henry Rumsey Forster, The Stowe Catalogue, London, 1848: no. 422, as by Titian.  Catalogue of the Ducal Estate of Stowe, near Buckingham, Northhampton, 1921: no. 1697, as by Titian.  For a general account of the formation and dispersal of the Stowe collection, see Anson 1973, 586-598; and Paul Whitfield, “Bankruptcy and Sale at Stowe: 1848,” Apollo 97 (June 1973): 599-604.