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Probably Bernardo Bembo, Venice or Verona [d. 1519]. Probably his son, Cardinal Pietro Bembo [1470-1547], Padua.[1] Nicolai Nikitich Demidov, Prince of San Donato [1773-1828], near Florence;[2] his son, Anatoly Nikolaievich Demidov, Prince of San Donato [1812-1870], near Florence; (his sale, Paris, 3 March 1870, no. 204, repro., etching by Rajou). Private collection, Italy, until c. 1928.[3] (Matthiesen Gallery, Berlin). (Paul Cassirer, Berlin).[4] Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza [1875-1947], Schloss Rohoncz, Hungary, and later, Villa Favorita, Lugano-Castagnola, Switzerland, by 1930;[5] on consigment 1950 with (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); purchased 1951 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; [6] gift 1952 by exchange to NGA.

Exhibition History

Sammlung Schloss Rohoncz, Neue Pinakothek, Munich, 1930, no. 222.
Alte Pinakotek, Munich, 1931, no cat.
Raphael and America, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1983, no. 78, repro.
Hans Memling's "Saint John the Baptist" and "Saint Veronica", National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1994, brochure, figs. 2, 3, color repros.
The Art of Devotion 1300-1500, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1994-1995, no. 14, repro. 45.
Hans Memling: Johannes und Veronka, Neue Pinakothek, Munich, 1995, no. 2, repro.
Il Volto di Cristo, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 2000-2001, no. IV.37, repro.
Deceptions and Illusions: Five Centuries of Trompe L'Oeil Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2002-2003, no. 58, color repro.
Face to Face: Flanders, Florence, and Renaissance Painting, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, 2013-2014, pl. 29.
Pietro Bembo e l'invenzione del Rinascimento, Palazzo del Monte di Pieta, Padua, 2013,

Technical Summary

The panel is composed of a single piece of wood which has been unevenly trimmed at the top edge. It is approximately .5 cm thick at the bottom edge. The painting on the front of the panel is in excellent condition, with only a few scattered small losses. There are some small areas of abrasion in the sky. The back is in less good condition, having received a number of nicks and scratches as well as more abrasion. However, the chalice and snake are well preserved with only a few small losses. The front of the panel was cleaned and restored in 1982 and the reverse cleaned and restored in 1983.

The figure of Saint Veronica is fully underdrawn in what appears to be black chalk, but infrared reflectography revealed minimal underdrawing in the landscape. The underdrawing on the reverse is free and cursory, providing a more general guide for the painted design, including the shadow cast by the chalice.


Crowe, J. A., and G.B. Cavalcaselle. The Early Flemish Painters: Notices of their Lives and Works. 2nd ed. London, 1872: 299.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. London, 1957 (reprinted 1959): pl. 122.
Broadley Hugh T. Flemish Painting in the National Gallery of Art (Booklet no. 5 in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). Washington, 1960: 5, 22-23, color repro.
Walker, John, Guy Emerson, and Charles Seymour. Art Treasures for America: An Anthology of Paintings & Sculpture in the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, 1961: 62, 213, fig. 55.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 78, repro.
Campbell, Lorne. "Notes on Netherlandish Pictures in the Veneto in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries." The Burlington Magazine 123 no. 941 (August 1981): 471.
Belting, Hans and Christiane Kruse. Erfindung des Gemäldes: Das erste Jahrhundert der niederländischen Malerei. Munich, 1994: 254-255, color fig. 222.
Vos, Dirk de. Hans Memling: The Complete Works. Translated by Ted Alkins. Antwerp and Ghent, 1994: 204-206, color fig.
Kruse, Christiane. "Eine gemalte Kunsttheorie im Johannes-Veronika-Diptychon von Hans Memling." Pantheon 54 (1996): 37-49, fig. 1a.
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Ar: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 50-51, 55, no. 36, color repro.
Nuttall, Paula. From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400-1500. New Haven and London, 2004: 248.
Verougstraete, Hélène. “Diptychs with Instructions for Use.” In Hand, John Oliver and Ron Spronk, eds. Essays in Context: Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych. Cambridge and New Haven, 2006: 161-162, fig. 2.
"El retablo, en la National Gallery of Art de Washington." Lapiz 26, no. 229 (January 2007): 18, color repro.
Lane, Barbara G. Hans Memling: Master Painter in Fifteenth-Century Bruges. London, 2009: 250, 290-291, 251 repro.
Michiels, Alfred. Hans Memling. New York, 2007: [248], 249, color fig.
Martin, Kathleen. “Poison.” In The Book of Symbols. Cologne, 2010: 741, fig. 2.
Stumpel, Jeroen. "Als een open boek." Kunstschrift 60, no. 2 (april/mei 2016): 34, color fig. 34.
Manges Nogueira, Alison. “Concealing portraits in Renaissance Venice: Jacometto’s painted box.” The Burlington Magazine 166 (February 2024): 131.

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