• Title: Judith with the Head of Holofernes
  • Creator: Andrea Mantegna or Follower (Possibly Giulio Campagnola)
  • Date Created: c. 1495/1500
  • Physical Dimensions: painted surface: 30.1 x 18.1 cm (11 7/8 x 7 1/8 in.) overall: 30.8 x 19.7 cm (12 1/8 x 7 3/4 in.) framed: 45.7 x 32.1 x 7.6 cm (18 x 12 5/8 x 3 in.)
  • Provenance: Possibly Charles I, King of England [1600-1649]; by exchange to William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke [1580-1630], Wilton House, Salisbury, before 1625; by inheritance to his brother, Philip Herbert, 4th earl of Pembroke [1584-1649/1650]; by inheritance to his son, Philip Herbert, 5th earl of Pembroke [1620/1621-1669]; by inheritance to his son, William Herbert, 6th earl of Pembroke [1640-1674]; by inheritance to his half-brother, Philip Herbert, 7th earl of Pembroke [1652/1653-1683]; by inheritance to his brother, Thomas Herbert, 8th earl of Pembroke [1656-1732/1733]; by inheritance to his son, Henry Herbert, 9th earl of Pembroke [1693-1749/1750];[1] by inheritance to his son, Henry Herbert, 10th earl of Pembroke [1734-1794]; by inheritance to his son, George Augustus Herbert, 11th earl of Pembroke [1759-1827]; by inheritance to his son, Robert Henry Herbert, 12th earl of Pembroke [1791-1862]; by inheritance to his nephew, George Robert Charles Herbert, 13th early of Pembroke [1850-1895]; by inheritance to his brother, Sidney Herbert, 14th earl of Pembroke [1853-1913]; by inheritance to his son, Reginald Herbert, 15th earl of Pembroke [1880-1960]; (his sale, Sotheby's, London, 5-6 and 9-10 July 1917, 4th day, no. 542 [sold privately]); listed July to September 1917 in (Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London) stock, owned jointly with (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London and New York); on approval to Carl W. Hamilton [1886-1967], New York, by 1920, and returned 1921;[2] purchased c. 1923 by Joseph E. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania;[3] inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, after purchase by funds of the Estate; gift 1942 to NGA. [1] The painting is first recorded in the Earl of Pembroke's collection at Wilton by C. Gambarini, _A Description of the Earl of Pembroke's Pictures_, Westminster, 1731: 93, no. 4. Johann David Passavant, _Tour of a German Artist in England_, English ed., 2 vols, London, 1836: 1:306, connected it with the mention of a painting of Judith by Raphael in Abraham van der Doort's 1639 inventory of the collection of King Charles I (published as Abraham van der Doort, _A Catalogue and Description of King Charles the First's Capital Collection of Pictures, Limnings, Statues, Bronzes, Medals, and Other Curiosities_, London, 1757), which was said to have been obtained in exchange for two works that had belonged to the Third Earl of Pembroke: a portrait of a young woman and a religious work by Parmigianino. The Raphael Judith is thus mentioned twice in connection with these two other works. First it appears in item no. 15: "A moddest forward full-faced painted younge womans picture..., onely a head, halfe soe bigg as the life wch your-Matie togeither with the 2. Children of Permencius had in way of Exchange for the little Judith of Rafell Urbin when you were Prince of the late decd Lo: of Penbrooke Steward of your Mats houshould: painted upon the right light." The _Judith_ is mentioned again in item no. 26: "Item a peece of. 2. naked Children imbraceing one another signifying Christ and St John in-the desart said to bee don by Parmentius Chaunged by yor Maty with my Lo: Steward Pembrooke decd for a Judith beeing a little intire figure said to have been don by Raphael d'Urben..." (quoted from Oliver Millar, "Abraham van der Doort's Catalogue of the Collections of Charles I," _Walpole Society_ 37 (1960): 79, 81). But Millar 1960: 232, rejecting Passavant's identification, has suggested that the Judith in the inventory may be identifiable with Giorgione's well-known painting of the heroine in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. The painting's inclusion in a 1992 exhibition about Lorenzo de' Medici's Giardino di San Marco reflected its occasional identification with a small panel painting of Judith by Mantegna, listed in the 1492 inventory of Lorenzo's collection. This work was similar in scale and function to NGA 1942.9.42, that is, "una tavoletta [small panel] in una cassetta [box] dipinti su una Giudetta chon la testa d'Oloferno e una serva, opera d'Andrea Squarcione [i.e., Mantegna]" (_Libro d'inventario_ 1992: 51). Paul Kristeller, _Andrea Mantegna_, trans. S. Arthur Strong, London and New York, 1901: 20-21, who did not regard the NGA painting as Mantegna's, listed Lorenzo's little panel of the same subject among the artist's lost or missing works. Lionello Venturi (_Pitture italiane in America_, Milan, 1931, and expanded English ed., _Italian Paintings in America_, trans. Countess van den Heuvel and Charles Marriott, 3 vols., New York and Milan, 1933: 2: pl. 340, note) first identified the NGA painting with Lorenzo's picture, and Hans Tietze (_Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika_, Vienna, 1935: 328, and English ed., 1939: 312) followed suit. Though accepted hypothetically by Renata Cipriani, _Tutta la pittura del Mantegna_, 1st and 2nd ed., Milan, 1956: 60, and English ed., _All the Paintings of Mantegna_, trans. Paul Colacicchi, 2 vols., New York, 1963: 79, and by Rona Goffen in _Small Paintings of the Masters, Masterpieces Reproduced in Actual Size. Early Italian School_, ed. Leslie Shore, 3 vols., Redding, Connecticut, 1980: no. 30, the identification was rejected by Erika Tietze-Conrat, _Mantegna. Paintings Drawings Engravings_, New York, 1955: 245; Niny Garavaglia, _L'opera completa del Mantegna_, Milan, 1967: 109-110; and Ronald Lightbown, _Mantegna_, Oxford, 1986: 435, cat. 30. [2] The Getty Provenance Index provides the details about the listing in Agnew's stock. The entry for the painting in the Duveen Brothers Records has the following notations: "1/2 share Scott Fowles," "Sotheby 19/7/17," and "Agnew 23/9/17" (copy in NGA curatorial files; X Book, Reel 422, Duveen Brothers Records, accession number 960015, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles). According to Edward Fowles (_Memories of Duveen Brothers_, London, 1976: 127-129), a large collection of Italian paintings was offered on approval to Hamilton by 1920, but he did not purchase them and returned them to Duveen the following year. [3] Widener collection records, in NGA curatorial files, give a purchase date of c. 1921, but the Duveen Brothers Records list expenses for the painting into 1923, indicating they probably still had ownership until that time.
  • Medium: tempera on poplar panel

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