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Bernard van Orley
Christ among the Doctors [obverse]; Putto with Arms of Jacques Coëne [reverse]

c. 1513
oil on panel
painted surface: 54.4 x 33.3 cm (21 7/16 x 13 1/8 in)
Abbot Jacques Coëne [d. 1542], Marchiennes. (Paul Bottenwieser, Berlin); acquired January 1928 by (F. Kleinberger Galleries, Inc., New York and Paris); [1] sold 6 February 1928 to Albert J. Kobler [d. 1936], New York; [2] by inheritance to Mrs. Albert J. [Mignon Sommers] Kobler; by inheritance to her sons, John Kobler, Weston, Connecticut, and Jason S. Kobler, New York; consigned 18 June 1946 and sold 16 October 1947 to (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); [3] purchased 1949 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1952 by exchange to NGA. [1] Kleinberger Gallery stock card no. 15865, Department of European Paintings, Metropolitan Museum of Art (copy, NGA curatorial files). [2] The provenance from this point forward has been revised since it was published in 1986 in the NGA's systematic catalogue Early Netherlandish Painting. Newspaper articles located by Patricia Teter, and documents found by Dan Jacobs in the Duveen Brothers Records (Getty Research Institute, Research Library, accession number 960015, reel 329, box 474, folder 3), all kindly copied for NGA curatorial files, give the details. The provenance published in 1986 included the name of Mrs. Edward A. Westfall, who was listed as a former owner in the catalogue of the 1946 exhibition at Duveen's; however, the documents in the Duveen Brothers Records show no evidence of Westfall ownership. Dan Jacobs rightly concludes that the use of Mrs. Westfall's name likely came about as the result of a dispute between the Internal Revenue Service and the Kobler estate (which had initially been reported as valued at only $5,000; see "A.J. Kobler estate is less than $5,000," The New York Times [19 May 1937]: 23). Edward Westfall, like Kobler an executive with the Hearst newspapers, was an honorary pallbearer at Kobler's funeral, so there was certainly a professional and social connection (see "200 Attend Services for Albert Kobler," The New York Times [4 January 1937]: 29). The correspondence with Dan Jacobs and Patricia Teter, from March, April, and June 2005, is in NGA curatorial files. [3] The agreement for a consignment of nine paintings and two tapestries between the Kobler sons and Duveen Brothers was dated 22 April 1946, and the objects were delivered two months later on 18 June.
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