Louis Le Nain
oil on canvas
55.6 x 64.7 cm (21 7/8 x 25 1/2 in)
In France during the 18th century.  George Godolphin Osborne, 10th duke of Leeds [1862-1927], Hornby Castle, near Bedale, Yorkshire, by 1902;  by inheritance to his, John Francis Godolphin Osborne, 11th duke of Leeds [1901-1963], Hornby Castle; sold December 1945 to (Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Paris, New York, and London);  sold December 1946 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1952 to NGA.  The painting was engraved in reverse by Catherine Elise Lempeurer in the mid-18th century under the title Le Bénédicité flamant. In the catalogues for the 1910, 1934, and 1938 exhibitions in which it was included, the painting is listed as from the Duc d'Orleans collection, but no painting by Le Nain is recorded in that collection, unless it was given to another artist.  Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of Pictures Belonging to the Duke of Leeds, London, 1902: 40, no. 201, as Flemish Interior by Le Nain. It is not known when the painting entered this collection; no mention of it was found in documents relating to the art collection in the estate papers of the Dukes of Leeds held by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Leeds, England (see e-mails of 20 and 28 October 2008, from Kirsty McHugh, archivist, to Anne Halpern, in NGA curatorial files).  During the preparation of the NGA systematic catalogue of its French paintings of the 15th to 18th centuries, Joseph Baillio of Wildenstein & Co. kindly provided the date when the company acquired the painting from the Duke of Leeds.