• Title: Giuseppe Balsamo, Comte di Cagliostro
  • Date Created: 1786
  • Physical Dimensions: w58.9 x h62.9 x d34.3 cm (overall without base)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Samuel H. Kress Collection
  • External Link: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
  • Medium: marble
  • Theme: portrait, male
  • School: French
  • Provenance: Possibly (sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 22-24 November 1826, no. 208, as Un Buste en marbre de Cagliostro par M. Houdon).[1] Sir Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford [1800-1870], Paris; by inheritance to his illegitimate son, Sir Richard Wallace [1818-1890], Paris; by inheritance to his wife, Lady Julie Wallace [1819-1897], Paris; by bequest to the Wallace's secretary and adviser, Sir John Murray Scott [1847-1912], Paris; by bequest to his intimate friend, Josephine Victoria Sackville-West, Lady Sackville [1864-1936], Paris; sold 1914 to (Jacques Seligmann & Cie, Paris and New York);[2] purchased February 1952 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[3] gift 1952 to NGA. [1] Anne L. Poulet, Jean-Antoine Houdon: Sculptor of the Enlightenment, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Musée et domaine national du château de Versailles, Washington, D.C., 2003: 125. [2] The direct transfer from Sir John Murray Scott to Lady Sackville and then to Jacques Seligmann is described in Germain Seligman's book Merchants of Art, New York, 1961: 98-99. Seligmann Paris stock no. 7969 and New York no. 2205 (Archives of American Art, Seligmann Papers, NY Stock Catalogues, Box 280, folder 8, copy NGA curatorial files). Germain Seligmann, manager of Seligmann's New York branch, is listed as the owner in the catalogue of the 1932 exhibition of French art in London, and in Robert Cecil's 1950 article, "The Remainder of the Hertford and Wallace Collections," Burlington Magazine, XCII (June 1950): 170, no. 24. The bust was in Paris when the Nazis invaded in 1940 and was confiscated with other portions of the Seligmann family collections at that time. It was recovered and returned to France in 1947. Correspondence concerning Germain Seligmann's efforts to have the bust shipped from France to the United States beginning in 1948 can be found in the Seligmann papers, Archives of American Art, Box 141 (copies in NGA curatorial files). [3] The invoice for the purchase of the bust was included with a letter of 8 February 1952 from Seligmann's New York branch to the Kress Foundation (copy in NGA curatorial files). The bust was sent to Washington from New York a week later.
  • Artist: Jean-Antoine Houdon

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