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Pietro Rotari
A Girl with a Flower in Her Hair

oil on canvas
45.8 x 35.4 cm (18 1/16 x 13 15/16 in)
Said to have been given by Empress Catherine II of Russia [1729-1796] to Prince Aleksandr Andreyevich Bezborodko [1747-1799], her secretary of petitions and later imperial chancellor; given by him to Prince Viktor Pavlovich Kochubei [1768-1834], Russian diplomat and statesman. [1] (Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, Rome); purchased July 1932 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [2] gift 1939 to NGA.

[1] In notations in the Samuel H. Kress Foundation records, NGA curatorial files. These come from the bill of sale (see note 2), which reads "Two Portraits of Young Girls...By Count Pietro Rotari...From the Royal Palace of Catherine of Russia...Were given as a present to Prince Besborodko, Chancellor of State, from whom they went to The Collection of Prince Kociubey, Hetman of Ucraine."
[2] The date of purchase is often given as 1939, which is, however, the date the painting entered the National Gallery. The bill of sale for several paintings, a book of drawings, a sculpture, two vases, and a velvet cope is dated 29 July 1932 (copy in NGA curatorial records). Roberto Longhi's expert opinion on the back of a Kress photograph (NGA curatorial files) is dated November 1932, and Alfred M. Frankfurter. "Eighteenth Century Venice in a New York Collection," The Fine Arts 19 (December 1932): 10, repro. 7, documents the painting in the Kress Collection by December of that year.
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