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Details

  • Title: The Triumph of Galatea
  • Creator: Bernardo Cavallino
  • Date Created: c. 1650
  • Physical Dimensions: original canvas: 148.3 × 203 cm (58 3/8 × 79 15/16 in.) with extensions: 152.1 × 205.1 cm (59 7/8 × 80 3/4 in.) framed: 178.75 × 234.32 × 15.24 cm (70 3/8 × 92 1/4 × 6 in.)
  • Provenance: Art market, Genoa, c. 1974.[1] Private collection, Switzerland; (Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox, London), 1981-1982; Saul P. Steinberg [1914-1999], New York; purchased 1 June 2000 through (Richard Feigen and Co., New York) by NGA. [1] This painting has been linked to a commission from Don Antonio Ruffo, an important art collector from Messina, to Artemisia Gentileschi: arguments in favor of this provenance can be found in Nicola Spinosa's essay in _Bernardo Cavallino (1616-1656)_, exh. cat., Museo Pignatelli, Naples, 1985: 188 and 219; Jozef Grabski, "On Seicento Painting in Naples: Some Observations on Bernardo Cavallino, Artemisia Gentileschi and Others," _Artibus et Historiae_ 11 (1985): 23-63 (41-55); and especially R. Ward Bissell, _Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art. Critical Reading and Catalogue Raisonné_, University Park, 1999: 287-288. However, a number of discrepancies between the inventory description of the Ruffo canvas and the NGA painting call this provenance into question. Furthermore, technical examination of the work has found no evidence of the separate hands of both Artemisia, to whom the commission was awarded, and Cavallino. It is therefore unlikely that the NGA painting is the one described in Ruffo's collection. More recently, Christopher Marshall put forward another possible provenance for the work. The collection of Antonio Arici in Naples held "a Galatea, with various _putti_, who rides on the sea...by Bernardo Cavalliero." This connection, however, proves equally problematic. While the recorded dimensions correspond with those of the NGA 2000.61.1, it is rather surprising that the inventory, probably drawn up by Arici's own sister in 1744, would mistake the adult seafaring tritons in the NGA painting for _putti_ (Christopher R. Marshall, "An early inventory reference and new technical information for Bernardo Cavallino's 'Triumph of Galatea'," _The Burlington Magazine_ CXLVII (2005): 42-43. The connection with Arici was first suggested by Stefano Causa, "Risarcimento di Onofrio Palumbo," _Paragone_ 37-8 (1993): 36 n. 29.
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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