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Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Ange Laurent de La Live de Jully

probably 1759
oil on canvas
117 x 88.5 cm (46 1/16 x 34 13/16 in)
The sitter, Ange Laurent de La Live de Jully [1725-1779], Paris, probably 1759; [1] probably by inheritance to his second daughter, Louise de La Live, comtesse de Fezensac [d. 1829 or 1832]; by inheritance to her son, Raymond Aimery de Montesquiou, duc de Montesquiou-Fezensac [1784-1867]; by inheritance to his daughter, Oriane Henriette de Montesquiou, vicomtesse [Charles] de Goyon [d. 1887], by 1874 until at least 1885; Alexandre Léon Joseph, comte de Laborde [b. 1853, a descendant of the sitter's brother-in-law], Paris, by 1927; purchased January 1937 by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); [2] sold 1942 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1946 to NGA. [1] The painting is undocumented between the catalogue of La Live de Jully's collection published in 1764 (Catalogue historique du cabinet de peinture et sculpture françoise de M. De Lalive, p. 55), and its exhibition in Paris in 1874, when it was in the collection of the vicomtesse Charles de Goyon, a direct descendant of the sitter. The vicomtesse also lent the painting to an exhibition in Paris in 1885. Munhall (in Edgar Munhall, Jean-Baptiste Greuze 1725-1805, exh. cat., The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; The California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon; Hartford and Lille, 1976: 64) follows the Duveen provenance that accompanied the painting on its acquisition by the Kress Foundation in 1942. Eisler (Colin Eisler, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian, Oxford, 1977: 327, no. 29) comments that there is no "documentary foundation for most of the sequence" between 1764 and 1874 and follows the provenance in L. Clément de Ris, Les Amatuers de Autrefois, Paris, 1877: 401-402. The Clément de Ris-Eisler provenance, in spite of some innaccuracies, remains tenable, especially in its credible presumption that the painting remained with La Live de Jully's heirs. Martha Hepworth of the Getty Provenance Index kindly helped clarify this issue and corrected the Clément de Ris-Eisler provenance (letter of 11 July 1989 in NGA curatorial files). [2] The painting was lent by Laborde to exhibitions in 1927 and 1935. Duveen Brothers' Paris office cabled on 30 December 1936, asking the New York office if they were interested in "Master's finest man portrait." The purchase followed quickly, as indicated by a further cable of 9 January 1937, requesting cash to pay for the painting and by an entry in the dealer's General Stock Books that reads: "GREUZE - Mons Ange Laurent de la Live de Jully Playing the Harp. Purchased from Mr. Laporte [sic] January 1937." (Duveen Brothers Records, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, accession no. 960015, reel 66, box 186, and reel 103, box 248, folder 13; copies in NGA curatorial files).
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