Loading

Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper with a Scroll inscribed Virtutem Forma Decorat [reverse]

c. 1474/1478

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Washington, DC, United States

Details

  • Title: Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper with a Scroll inscribed Virtutem Forma Decorat [reverse]
  • Date Created: c. 1474/1478
  • Physical Dimensions: overall (original panel only): 38.1 x 37 cm (15 x 14 9/16 in.) overall (thickness of original panel): 1.1 cm (7/16 in.) overall (with addition at bottom edge): 42.7 x 37 cm (16 13/16 x 14 9/16 in.) overall (thickness of addition at bottom edge): 1.9 cm (3/4 in.) framed: 59.7 x 57.8 x 3.8 cm (23 1/2 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/2 in.)
  • Provenance: Presumably purchased in Florence by Prince Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein [1657-1712] before 1712, but certainly in the collection of the Princes of Liechtenstein by 1733, Vienna;[1] by descent to Prince Franz Josef II von und zu Liechtenstein [1906-1989], Vienna and later, Vaduz, Liechtenstein;[2] purchased 10 February 1967 by NGA. [1] The name "Ginevra" was too common in the Renaissance to assume with Jean Adhémar ("Une galerie de portraits italiens à Amboise en 1500," _Gazette des Beaux Arts_ 86, no. 1281 (October 1975): 100), followed by Fern Rusk Shapley (_Catalogue of the Italian Paintings_, 2 vols., Washington, D.C., 1979: 1:251-255), that a portrait of a lady so named in an inventory made at Amboise in 1500 refers to Leonardo's painting, which the early sources, to the contrary, place in Florence. It is not known whether the painting belonged to the Benci family in the early sixteenth century, as Antonio Billi (_Il Libro di Antonio Billi esistente in due copie nella Biblioteca nazionale di Firenze_, ed. Carl Frey, Berlin, 1892: 51), who presumably saw it, does not give its location. The picture may well have entered the Liechtenstein Collection by 1712 or earlier, as the 1733 red wax seal on the reverse, bearing the Liechtenstein arms, designated works that were part of the "Fideikommissgalerie" of Prince Johann Adam, held in trust but not personally collected by the then-reigning Prince Josef Wenzel (1696-1772) (see Reinhold Baumstark, "Collecting Paintings," in _Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections_, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985: 183-185). The founder of the picture gallery at Feldsberg was Prince Karl Eusebius (1611-1684), a distinguished connoisseur who liked small cabinet-type paintings. He was succeeded by his son, the already mentioned Prince Johann Adam, also an avid collector who, however, preferred the Italian Baroque. Either could have obtained the painting in Florence, where both traveled (Olga Raggio, "The Collection of Sculpture," in _Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections_, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985: 63-65). Leonardo's authorship, in any case, came to be forgotten, as the panel was attributed to Lucas Cranach in the Liechtenstein Catalogue of 1780. [2] During World War II the picture was transferred, with the rest of the collection, from the Garden Palace in Vienna to the castle at Vaduz in the principality of Liechtenstein, and from there it was acquired from Prince Franz Josef II for the National Gallery of Art.
  • Medium: tempera on panel

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps