click image to enlarge

Sandro Botticelli
Giuliano de' Medici

c. 1478/1480
tempera on panel
75.5 x 52.5 cm (29 3/4 x 20 11/16 in)
Grand Duke Ferdinand I de' Medici [1551-1609], Florence. [1] Marchese Alfonso Tacoli Canacci [1724-1801], Florence, by 1796; [2] by inheritance to his nephew, Pietro Tacoli [1773-1847], Modena; by inheritance to his daughter, Adelaide Tacoli; through her marriage into the Bellincini Bagnesi family, Modena; by descent to Marchesa Adele Bagnesi; [3] sold 1940 through (Zelindo Bonaccini [1890-1967], Modena)[4] to Count Vittorio Cini [1885-1977], Venice; [5] sold to (Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York), probably in 1948; [6] sold June 1949 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [7] gift 1952 to NGA. [1] The emblem of the queen bee surrounded by her subjects, visible on the reverse of the painting, appears also on the reverse of a medal made by Michele Mazzafirri for Grand Duke Ferdinand I de' Medici in 1588; see Karla Langedijk, The Portraits of the Medici, 15th-18th Centuries, Florence, 1983: 2:760-761. It is uncertain whether the NGA painting is the one described as "1o quadro colla testa di Giuliano de' Medici" ("one picture with the head of Giuliano de' Medici") in the 1503 inventory of the Cafaggiolo branch of the family collection (see John Shearman, "The Collections of the Younger Branch of the Medici," Burlington Magazine 117 [1975]: 26); in fact, several versions of Giuliano's portrait must have been painted, a number of which still exist today. No portrait of him is mentioned, however, in the 1492 inventory of the Medici Palace in Via Larga (see Libro d'inventario dei beni di Lorenzo di Magnifico, ed. by Marco Spallanzani and Giovanni Gaeta Bertelà, Florence, 1992; and Maria Grazia Ciardi Duprè Dal Poggetto, "I dipinti di Palazzo Medici nell'inventario di Simone de Stagio delle Pozze: Problemi di committenza e di arredo," in Toscana al temp di Lorenzo il Magnifico: Politica, economia, cultura, arte. Convegno di studi promosso dale Università di Firenze, Pisa e Siena, 5-8 novembre 1992, 3 vols., Pisa, 1996: 160-161) or in the 1560 inventory of the apartments of Cosimo I de' Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio (see James H. Beck, "The Medici Inventory of 1560," Antichità Viva 13 [1974]: no. 3, 64-66, and no. 5, 61-63). A "quadretto pittovi la testa di Giuliano di Piero de' Medici in carta pecora" ("a little picture with the head of Giuliano di Piero de' Medici painted on parchment"), certainly not identifiable with the NGA painting, is listed in inventories of 1553 and later (Karla Langedijk, The Portraits of the Medici. 15th-18th Centuries, 3 vols., Florence, 1981-1987: (1983):1063). [2] The presence of a label with the inscription Etruria pittrice (see also note 5) suggests that by 1796 the painting belonged to marquis Alfonso Tacoli-Canacci, in whose catalogue it is registered under no. 444. As Dr. Vincenzo Buonocore informs Miklós Boskovits in a letter of 17 June 2002 (copy in NGA curatorial files), the painting was probably acquired by Tacoli Canacci after 1792, as it does not appear in the list of his paintings compiled in that year (now in the Real Biblioteca in Madrid, ms. II/574). [3] The Getty Provenance Index states that the painting used to belong to the Coccapani Imperiali family. A handwritten note on the back of a photograph in Bernard Berenson's photographic files at the Biblioteca Berenson, I Tatti, Florence, states that the painting was "found" in Modena and that it entered the Cini collection through a Modenese dealer (see following notes). According to Dr. Vincenzo Buonocore, who is preparing a detailed study on the history of the Tacoli-Canacci collection, after the death of marquese Alfonso, his paintings went to his nephew and heir, Pietro Tacoli, and subsequently to the daughter of the latter, Adelaide, wife of Alessandro Bellincini Bagnesi in Modena. [4] The anonymous author of an article in the magazine Europeo (8 July 1951, translation in NGA curatorial files) states that the painting was acquired "before the war [World War II] [by] Count Vittorio Cini through Prof. Zelindo Bonaccini of Modena." Working also as a painter, Bonaccini was known mostly for his activity as a dealer (see Alberto Barbieri, Arte ed artisti a Modena, Modena, 1982: 407). [5] A publication on the paintings and works of art belonging to the Cini collection (Nino Barbantini, Il Castello di Monselice, Venice, 1940) does not yet mention the painting. However, Dr. Buonocore owns a list of paintings sold in 1940 by Adele Bagnesi to Count Cini which includes the Giuliano de' Medici (communication to Miklós Boskovits). [6] According to a handwritten note on a photograph owned by Bernard Berenson (see note 3), the painting was with Wildenstein's by 1948; it was offered by this firm to Rush H. Kress for acquisition on 30 March 1949 (copy of letter in NGA curatorial files). [7] The Wildenstein invoice to the Kress Foundation for 16 items, including the Botticelli painting, is dated 23 June 1949 (copy in NGA curatorial files).
Record Link