National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate Lorenzo di Credi (painter)
Florentine, c. 1457/1459 - 1536
Madonna and Child with a Pomegranate, 1475/1480
oil on poplar panel
overall: 16.5 x 13.4 cm (6 1/2 x 5 1/4 in.) framed: 44.1 x 24.5 x 3.8 cm (17 3/8 x 9 5/8 x 1 1/2 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Not on View
From the Tour: Patrons and Artists in Late 15th-Century Florence
Object 5 of 8


Purchased in England by Gustave Dreyfus [1837-1914], Paris;[1] his estate; sold by his heirs 1930 with the entire Dreyfus collection to (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); sold September 1951 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[2] gift 1952 to NGA.

[1] Fern Rusk Shapley, Catalogue of the Italian Paintings, 2 vols., Washington, D.C., 1979: 1:532, follows William Suida, Paintings and Sculptures from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56, Washington, D.C., 1956: 200, no. 79, in claiming that the NGA painting was cited in the sale catalogue of the John Watkins Brett collection (Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 5 April 1864, no. 832) as by Leonardo. But the entry in question states that in that work the Virgin held the Child in her arms. Another Madonna (no. 839) in the same collection, also attributed to Leonardo, showed the figures against a landscape background. While either entry might theoretically refer to the NGA painting (no dimensions are given in the sale catalogue), it is unlikely that, before any of Leonardo's early works were rediscovered, his hand would have been recognized in a picture as Verrocchiesque as this one. The two Leonardo Madonnas in the Brett Collection were more probably Leonardesque productions of the type then commonly given to the master.

Suida and Shapley further stated that the picture was in the collection of Charles Timbal in Paris and that it was sold by Timbal's heirs to Gustave Dreyfus in 1872. However, an inventory of the pictures Timbal's heirs sold to Dreyfus, a transcript of which is in NGA curatorial files, does not include a work corresponding to the NGA painting, unless it was then attributed to Lippi or Botticelli. The claim that the picture was sold to Dreyfus as early as 1872 is contradicted, moreover, by Jean Guiffrey's explicit statement, in "La collection de M. Gustave Dreyfus II--La peinture," Les Arts 73 (January 1908): 10, repro., that Dreyfus had only recently acquired it in England.

[2] Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Los Angeles: reel 114, box 259, folder 14; reel 331, box 446, folder 2. The painting is variously attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and Verrocchio in the Duveen files.

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