National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Madonna and Child Fra Filippo Lippi (painter)
Florentine, c. 1406 - 1469
Madonna and Child, c. 1440
tempera on panel
overall: 79 x 51.1 cm (31 1/8 x 20 1/8 in.) framed: 117.2 x 85.4 x 9.5 cm (46 1/8 x 33 5/8 x 3 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1939.1.290
On View
From the Tour: The Early Renaissance in Florence
Object 5 of 8

Provenance

Edward Solly [1776-1844], Berlin, by 1819;[1] sold 1821 to the Königliche Museen (later Kaiser-Friedrich Museum), Gemäldegalerie, Berlin (until 1840 as no. I.165, afterward as no. 58); deaccessioned and sold 1937 to (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris);[2] sold June 1938 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[3] gift 1939 to NGA.

[1] It does not appear that the painting was ever in London, as is sometimes affirmed. In fact, it was not part of Edward Solly's second collection, put together after his move to London in 1821. His first collection was formed in Berlin, probably beginning in 1813 (see Maria Dietl, "The Picture Gallery of Berlin: The Formation of the Solly Collection," Giovanni Morelli e la cultura dei conoscitori. Atti del Convegno internazionale, Bergamo 1987, Bergamo, 1993: 49-59). Onto the back of the painting has been transferred an old label with the Prussian eagle, the letters T.N., and the number 27. This mark, whose precise meaning has not yet been clarified, is often seen on the labels attached to the backs of paintings coming from the Solly collection, and probably originated at the time of the preparation of the "Vorläufiges Verzeichnis" of 1819; see Wilhelm H. Köhler, "Die Sammlung Solly, Merkmale und Kennzeichen ihrer Bilder," in Miklós Boskovits, Gemäldegalerie Berlin. Katalog der Gemälde. Frühe italienische Malerei, Berlin, 1987: 185-186.

[2] No. 58 is cited for the last time in a publication of the Berlin museum in Irene Kunze, Staatliche Museen in Berlin. Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum. Führer durch die Gemäldegalerie. Die italienischen Meister, Berlin, 1934: 17. By the mid-1930s the Berlin museum evidently wished to acquire some German paintings that were no longer in that country. This desire was referenced in a letter written by Duveen Brothers on 26 February 1937 to the director of the paintings department at the Berlin museum, offering to him the Portrait of a Man with Lute by Hans Holbein (now no. 2154 in Berlin, then “said to be …of Jean de Dinteville,” from Henry Goldman’s collection in New York) in exchange for two paintings in Berlin, this painting and another NGA painting, Duccio's The Nativity with the Prophets Isaiah and Ezekial (NGA 1937.1.8). (Copy of the letter and an office memo in NGA curatorial files; Reel 48, Box 139, Folder 4 and Reel 189, Box 334, Folder 2, Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.) The date of de-accession is also given by Robert Oertel, Fra Filippo Lippi, Vienna, 1942: 75.

[3] The Duveen Brothers letter confirming the sale of eight paintings, including NGA 1939.1.290, is dated 21 June 1938; the provenance is given as "The Kaiser Friedrich Museum" (copy in NGA curatorial files; Box 474, Folder 5, Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles).

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