San Giorgio in Alga, Venice, until 1806 or 1807. Pivan collection, Venice, by 1934. (Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi, Florence); purchased 1950 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1952 to NGA.
The support is a rather coarse, plain-weave fabric with prominent nubby threads. It was prepared with a warm, pinkish tan ground, over which the opaque paint layer was freely applied with low to moderate impasto. There is little glazing or complex layering. X-radiographs show slight contour modification in the foreleg of the front horse, and reveal that Elijah's robe extends under the wheel. The reserve left in the flames for the wheel, however, suggests that only the section over the robe was painted as an afterthought, with an extension of the robe beyond the rim.
The corners of the support were once curved and have been filled with crudely painted strips of fabric to provide the present rectangular format. Cusping is evident along all the edges of the original support. The painting has numerous tears in the background: the most extensive are in an area of about 42 x 10 cm at the bottom of the wheel, with more tears around Elijah's right hand. Abrasion, especially in the background, has been heavily inpainted; the inpainting is slightly discolored. The present varnish is moderately yellowed. Discolored varnish was removed and the inpainting restored in 1948 by Mario Modestini.
- Zanetti, Anton Maria. Della pittura veneziana e delle opere pubbliche de' veneziani maestri. Venice, 1771: 477 (reprinted Venice, 1972).
- Pallucchini, Rodolfo. "Il pittore Francesco Polazzo." Rivista di Venezia 1934: 341, fig. 16, as by Francesco Polazzo.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1945-1951. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1951: 148, no. 64, repro., as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- Mühlberger, Richard. The Bible in Art: The Old Testament. London, 1956: 230, pl. 88. (As by Polazzo.)
- Pallucchini, Rodolfo. Piazzetta. Milan, 1956: 38, fig. 91, as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- Pigler, Andor. Barockthemen: eine Auswahl von Verzeichnissen zur Ikonographie des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts. 2 vols. Budapest, 1956: 1:177, as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, but suggests Angeli.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 245, repro., as by Giovanni Battista Piazetta.
- Walker, John, Guy Emerson, and Charles Seymour. Art Treasures for America: An Anthology of Paintings & Sculpture in the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, 1961: 165, repro. pl. 159.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 101, as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 89, repro., as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 163, 647, as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta or Francesco Polazzo.
- Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, XVI-XVIII Century. London, 1973: 139, fig. 272, as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- Pigler, Andor. Barockthemen: eine Auswahl von Verzeichnissen zur Ikonographie des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts. 3 vols. Rev. ed. Budapest, 1974: 1:180, as by Francesco Polazzo.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 264, repro., as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: I:366-367, II:pl. 265, as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- Jones, Leslie. "The Paintings of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta." 3 vols. Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1981: 1:190-191; 2:238-240, no. R6.A; 3:fig. 137.
- Mariuz, Adriano, with Rodolfo Pallucchini. L'opera completa del Piazzetta. Milan, 1982: 129, no. A146, repro.
- Mollenhauer Hanstein, Mariana. "Giuseppe Angeli und die Venezianische Malerei des Settecento." Ph.D. dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, 1982: 36-37, 77, 88, 128, 148, no. 128, fig. 13.
- Knox, George. Unpublished catalogue entry, 1983. NGA curatorial files.
- Pallucchini, Rodolfo. "Il Piazzetta e la sua scuola." In Giambattista Piazzetta, il suo tempo. la sua scuola. Exh. cat. Palazzo Loredan-Vendramin-Calergi, Venice, 1983: 36.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 344, no. 471, color repro., as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 304, repro., as by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta.
- Knox, George. Giambattista Piazzetta 1682-1754. Oxford, 1992: 215, fig. 156.
- De Grazia, Diane, and Eric Garberson, with Edgar Peters Bowron, Peter M. Lukehart, and Mitchell Merling. Italian Paintings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 4-7, repro. 5.