National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Marchesa Elena Grimaldi Cattaneo Sir Anthony van Dyck (artist)
Flemish, 1599 - 1641
Marchesa Elena Grimaldi Cattaneo, 1623
oil on canvas
overall: 242.9 x 138.5 cm (95 5/8 x 54 1/2 in.)
Widener Collection
On View
From the Tour: Sir Anthony van Dyck
Object 5 of 15


Giacomo Cattaneo [born 1593], Genoa, husband of the sitter; by inheritance to his sons, Filippo Cattaneo [1619-1684] and Gio. Giacomo Cattaneo [1628-1712], Genoa; by inheritance 1712 to their great-nephew, Nicolò Cattaneo [1676-1746], Genoa;[1] by inheritance to Giambatista Cattaneo, Genoa, by 1780; Nicola Cattaneo, Genoa, by 1827; Cattaneo della Volta Collection, until 1906;[2] sold to Antonio Monti, Ferrara, buying with or more likely for (Trotti et Cie., Paris); on joint account December 1906 with (P. & D. Colnaghi, London); on three-way joint account February 1907 with (M. Knoedler and Co., New York);[3] sold 1908 to Peter A.B. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park; gift 1942 to NGA.

[1] Information about the early provenance of the painting is contained in a document from the Cattaneo family archives published by Piero Boccardo, "Ritratti di collezionisti e committenti," in Susan Barnes, Piero Boccardo, et al., Van Dyck a Genova. Grande pittura e collezionismo, exh. cat., Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, 1997: 53-56. The portraits of Elena Cattaneo Grimaldi and her children (NGA 1942.9.92-94) have stayed together as a group through the centuries, except for a brief period between 1708 and 1712. During those years the portrait of the mother (NGA 1942.9.92) stayed with Gio. Giacomo Cattaneo, while the paintings of Filippo and Maddalena (NGA 1942.9.93-94) had already come to the residence of Niccolò Cattaneo near Portovenere.

[2] See also The Frick Collection: An Illustrated Catalogue. Volume I: Paintings, American, British, Dutch, Flemish and German, New York, 1968, 179-180: "Ratti, in 1780 [Carlo Giuseppe Ratti, Instruzione di quanto può vedersi di più bello in Genova in pittura, scultura, ed architettura ecc... nuovamente ampliata e accresciuta, Genoa, 1780], recorded several [Cattaneo portraits] in the palace of Giambattista Cattaneo, near the Church of San Torpete, and in 1846 Alizeri also referred to them [Federigo Alizeri, Guida Artistica per la Città di Genova, 2 vols., Genoa, 1846-1847]. In May 1857, Otto Mündler wrote in his diary [manuscript now in the National Gallery, London; see Otto Mündler, "The Travel Diaries of Otto Mündler 1855-1858," ed. Carol Togneri Dowd, Walpole Society 31 (1985): 152 (book 1, f. 85), 276] that there were in the Casa Casaretto eight Van Dycks ('unquestionably original, but all of them formerly enlarged'). Among these he cited (no. 6): 'A young Lady, standing, l. side outwards. A negro holds a red umbrella over her head. Her r. hand holds an orange-flower. White ruff and red cuffs, on a black dress. The negro dressed in yellow. Background a terrasse, a landscape; fine sky. Size of life. Splendid.' Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, director of the National Gallery of London, also visited Genoa in 1857. In his notes (preserved in the library of the National Gallery, London) he writes: '30 Aug. 1857. Genoa. The Cattaneo "Vandyck" most of them (there are eight in number) are very sketchy & being on a dark ground have suffered ... The whole length lady with a black servant holding a red umbrella over her is ... [ruined?].'"

[3] Information on Monti and the relationship between Trotti, Colnaghi, and Knoedler is from records available in the Getty Provenance Index.

[PC1]Cap D?

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