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Possibly Count Alessandro Fava; his son, Count Pietro Ercole Fava [1667 or 1669-1744], Bologna, by 1739;[1] his son, Carlo Fava [d. 1790], Bologna, until at least c. 1770.[2] (Julius H. Weitzner [1896-1986], New York), by 1938;[3] purchased 1952 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[4] gift 1961 to NGA.

Exhibition History

Alexander the Great: History and Legend in Art, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, 1980, not in cat.
The Search for Alexander, trav. exh., ptg. shown: Natl. Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston; M.H. de Young Mus., San Fran.; New Orleans Mus. of Art, 1981-1982, and Royal Ontario Mus., Toronto, 1983, no. 23 and no. S-3 in cats.

Technical Summary

The support consists of a large piece of somewhat coarsely woven fabric with an additional strip approximately 4.5 cm high added at the bottom, which itself consists of two pieces of a different fabric. All three pieces were sewn together prior to application of a moderately thin ground layer. On the main section the ground is tan; on the bottom strip it is gray. X-radiographs reveal a random pattern of sweeping strokes created by the instrument used to apply the ground, probably a palette knife. The paint was very thinly applied with a range of paste to fluid consistencies. The numerous pentimenti visible to the eye are not visible in x-radiographs, but can be more clearly discerned using infrared reflectography. Among the innumerable small shifts in drapery contours and figure poses, the most notable are the changes in position of Alexander's legs. Also, the supine figure at lower left was added over different preexisting compositional elements.

The tacking margins have been removed, resulting in losses around the edges. There is cusping along all four sides of the main fabric section. Cusping on the added fabrics occurs only on the outside edges and does not match that on the main section, indicating that ground was applied on each at different times. There are areas of abrasion overall. The blues have sunken in and darkened, as have the shadowed flesh tones. Glazes may have been lost in Alexander's chair. The varnish is yellowed and somewhat hazy. Discolored varnish was removed and the painting was restored in 1915 by Mario Modestini.


Zanotti, Giampietro. Storia dell'Accademia Clementina di Bologna. 2 vols. Bologna, 1739: 106-107 (reprinted 1977).
Crespi, Luigi. Vita de' pittori bolognesi non descritte nella Felsina Pittrice. Rome, 1769: 253.
Lanzi, Luigi. Storia pittorica della Italia. 6 vols. Bassano, 1809: 5:178 (English ed., London, 1828).
Voss, Hermann. "Creti, Donato." In Thieme-Becker. 37 vols. Leipzig, 1907-1950: 8(1913):100.
Alcsuti, Caterina. "Donata Creti, pittore bolognese (1671-1749)." Il comune di Bologna, rivista mensile municipale 9 (September 1932): 18.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 62, no. 21, repro., as The Quarrel.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 229, repro., as The Quarrel.
Roli, Renato. "Donato Creti." Arte Antica e Moderna 7 (1959): 332, fig. 149a.
Miller, Dwight. "Donato Creti." In Dizionario biografico degli italiani. Edited by Alberto Maria Ghisalberti. 82+ vols. Rome, 1960+: 30(1984):749-750.
Walker, John, Guy Emerson, and Charles Seymour. Art Treasures for America: An Anthology of Paintings & Sculpture in the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, 1961:,164, repro. pl. 158.
Roli, Renato. "Dipinti inediti di Donata Creti." Arte Antica e Moderna 23 (1963): 248, 249.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 34, as The Quarrel.
Roli, Renato. Donato Creti. Milan, 1967: 25, 26-27, 92, 98, no. 101, fig. 13, color pl. I.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 28, repro., as The Quarrel.
Faces and Figures of the Baroque. Autumn Exhibition. Exh. cat. Heim Gallery, London, 1971: 10.
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 59, 479, 647.
Roli, Renato. Donato Creti: 46 disegni inediti. Bologna, 1973: under no. 12.
Roli, Renato. "Drawings by Donato Creti: Notes for a Chronology." Master Drawings 11 (1973): 31, no. 21.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, XVI-XVIII Century. London, 1973: 100-101, fig. 185.
Ruggeri, Ugo. "Nuovi disegni di Donato Creti." Musei ferraresi Bollettino annuale 4 (1974): 19.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 88, repro., as The Quarrel.
Roli, Renato. Pittura bolognese 1650-1800. Dal Cignani ai Gandolfi.Bologna, 1977: 117, 254, fig. 192a.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: 1:147-149; 2:pl. 104, as Philip of Macedon Menacing His Son Alexander.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 344, no. 470, color repro., as The Quarrel.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 107, repro., as The Quarrel.
Roli, Renato. "Una insolita 'Veronica' di Donato Creti e altre aggiunte." In Scritti di storia dell'arte in onore di Raffaello Causa. Naples, 1988: 328.
Riccomini, Marco. "A Rediscovered Bozzetto by Donata Creti." The Burlington Magazine 131 (1989): 420.
Roli, Renato. "La pittura in Emilia Romagna nella prima metà del settecento." In La pittura in Italia. Edited by Mina Gregori and Erich Schleier. 2 vols. Rev. ed. Milan, 1989: 1:259.
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: 77-83, color repro. 79.
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 238, no. 187, color repro.

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