Hercules and the Hydra and Hercules and Antaeus by Antonio del Pollaiuolo
February 4 – February 10, 1963
THIS EXHIBITION IS NO LONGER ON VIEW AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY.
Overview: 2 small panels by Pollaiuolo (c. 1470) were lent by the Republic of Italy. The panels had been in the Medici collection at the Uffizi since 1789. They were taken during the German army's retreat from the villa near Florence where much of the Uffizi collection had been stored during the war. After 18 years they were found in the possession of a German waiter in Pasadena. The Italian government immediately sent a delegation headed by Minister Rudolfo Siviero, the art sleuth who dedicated his life to the discovery of stolen Italian works of art, and Luisa Becherucci, director of the Uffizi, to recover them. At the request of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and the Department of Justice, Frank Sullivan, resident restorer at the National Gallery, flew to Los Angeles to report on the condition of the paintings.
The panels were first exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for 6 days, then came to the Gallery and were shown as a special installation in a glass case for one week before their return to Florence.