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Doge Andrea Gritti

c. 1546/1550
oil on canvas
133.6 x 103.2 cm (52 5/8 x 40 5/8 in)
Purchased 1626 in Italy for Charles I, King of England [1600-1649], Whitehall Palace, London; [1] (Charles I [Commonwealth] sale, Somerset House, London, 23 October 1651); purchased by the Syndicate of the Twelfth Dividend, organized by John Jackson, lawyer. [2] Wenzel Anton, Prince von Kaunitz-Rietburg [d. 1794]; by inheritance to Wenzel Alois, Prinz Kaunitz; (Kaunitz sale, Vienna, 13 March 1820, no. 178); [3] purchased by Johann Rudolf, Count Czernin von Chudenitz [1757-1845], Vienna; [4] by inheritance through the Czernin von Chudenitz family, Vienna, to Count Eugen Czernin von Chudenitz [1892-1955], Vienna, as of 1933, until at least 1948; on commission January 1954 from Willy Haene, lawyer for Czernin, with (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); sold 1954 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [5] gift 1961 to NGA. [1] On a label on the reverse of the painting is written "Bought for His Majesty in Italy, 1626." It is not known from whom in Italy the picture was bought. As pointed out by Erica Tietze-Conrat, “Titian’s Workshop in His Late Years,” The Art Bulletin 28 (1946): 81, it is certainly identifiable with the item in Abraham Van der Doort’s 1639 inventory of Charles I’s collection, placed in the Privy Lodging Room of Whitehall Palace, and described as follows: “Item Above the doore. Duke grettie of Venus wth his right hand houlding his roabes: Bought by the Kinge halfe figures So bigg as the life. In a black wodden guilded frame. Done by Tichian” (Oliver Millar, “Abraham van der Doort’s Catalogue of the Collection of Charles I,” Walpole Society 37 [1960 ]: 21). (The handwriting on the label, while apparently of the 17th century, is not that of Van der Doort, cataloger of the royal collection.) The dimensions, given as 4 feet 4 inches high by 3 feet 4 inches wide, also correspond closely. See also Francis Haskell, “Charles I’s Collection of Pictures,” in The Late King’s Goods. Collections, Possessions and Patronage of Charles I in the Light of the Commonwealth Sale Inventories, ed. Arthur MacGregor, London and Oxford, 1989: 204. The royal stamp of a CR surmounted by a crown was once visible on the back of the canvas (as reported by Karl Wilczek, Katalog der Graf Czernin’schen Gemäldegalerie in Wien, Vienna, 1936: 88-89), but the 1955 transfer of the canvas to a new stretcher has concealed it. [2] “Gritto doge de venetia; done by Tytsyan. Sold to Jackson a/ o 23 October 1651” (for £40) (Oliver Millar, “The Inventories and Evaluations of the King’s Goods, 1649-1651,” Walpole Society 43 [1970-1972]: 71). For John Jackson and his syndicate, see also W.L.F. Nuttall, “King Charles I’s Pictures and the Commonwealth Sale,” Apollo 82, no. 44 (1965): 308. [3] Catalogue des tableaux provenants d’une galerie célèbre, Vienna, 13 March 1820: no. 178 (“Le Portrait du Doge de Venise Gritti à mi-corps avec manteau et bonnet ducal, vu de face, et regardant à gauche. Tableau qui a été acheté en Italie pour le Roi Charles Ier d’Angleterre”). [4] Wilczek 1936, 88-89. [5] See letter of 1 July 1986 from Nancy C. Little, Knoedler Librarian, and M. Knoedler & Co. Records, accession number 2012.M.54, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles: Knoedler commission book no. 5A, no. CA4519; sales book no. 17, p. 50. Knoedler's bill of sale for the painting is dated 2 February 1954, and payment was made in two installments in March and June of the same year. The letter, copies from Knoedler & Co. Records, and a copy of the bill of sale, with annotations, are in NGA curatorial files.
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