Provenance Research

Italian School, follower of Fra Angelico, 15th century
Italy
Madonna and Child, ca. 1450s
Tempera and gold leaf on panel
7 1/2 in. diameter gessoed panel (19.1 cm diameter gessoed panel)
Fanny Bryce Lehmer Fund, 1966.267

Description:
A small tondo of the Madonna and Child. The Madonna wears a pink dress and a blue cloak with a hood. She is seated on a cushion with the Christ child standing on her left knee. He reaches for the bird that is perched on her right hand. Gold leaf fills the background space.

Additional measurements:
8 7/8 in. diameter panel (22.5 cm diameter panel)

Former Attributions:
Fra Angelico

Alternate Titles:
Madonna
Madonna met Kind
Madonna op goudgrond
La Vierge et L'enfant

Provenance:

    Palmieri Nuti, Siena
     
By at least December 1927-at least May 1940:   (Jacques Goudstikker [1897-1940], Amsterdam [1])
     
By at least 1966:   (Piero Tozzi Galleries, New York, sold to)
     
1966-present:   Cincinnati Art Museum


Notes:
[1] Jacques Goudstikker was an influential and prominent art dealer in Amsterdam before World War II. In May 1940 he and his wife were forced to flee The Netherlands because of the impending Nazi invasion. The Goudstikker firm was sold in July 1940 by Goudstikker employees to Alois Miedl, a German businessman and agent for Herman Göring [1893-1946]. Miedl sold many works to Göring, as well as to other German buyers. The firm continued to use the Goudstikker name throughout the war. Goudstikker died en route, but his family made it to the United States. After the war, his wife, Dési Goudstikker von Saher, returned to The Netherlands to retrieve the gallery business and claim its losses. Many of the works went through the Munich Central Collecting Point and were returned to the Dutch State. A small percentage of artworks were returned to Dési. The location of many of the works, however, still remains unknown.

The CAM's tondo was first documented as part of Goudstikker's collection in a letter dated December 20, 1927, to the dealer from art historian Robert van Marle, in which the author authenticated the painting as one by Fra Angelico (original letter in CAM files). Goudstikker then published the painting in Catalogue des Nouvelle Acquisitions de la Collection Goudstikker, May to June, 1928, no. 1. He later loaned the tondo to an exhibition Italiaansche Kunst in Nederlandsch Bezit, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, July 1 to October 1, 1934, no. 5. The tondo next appeared in the May 1940 Goudstikker Notebook (an inventory of the Goudstikker collection), entry no. 2002. Although the exact path of the painting after May 1940 has not been traced, there is a strong possibility that the tondo was not among the works "sold" to Miedl later that summer. The painting does not appear in the archives of the Goudstikker firm from 1940 to 1945 (held at Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie). Correspondence with the Inspectie Cultuurbezit, The Hague, an organization responsible for Dutch art loss claims, has informed the CAM that, after conducting archival research, the painting does not appear to have remained in the Goudstikker firm's inventory at the time of Miedl's acquisition of it. Their research shows that it is not found in the inventories of Göring's collection (Netherlands Custodian Foundation [NBI] The Hague, [NBI 021080]), which were usually quite detailed. It is not found in the "Koblenz Archive," which holds the records kept by the Allies at the Central Collecting Point, Munich. The tondo was not discovered on any records of objects collected there that had Goudstikker on the provenance and returned to The Netherlands. The painting was not among works returned to Dési Goudstikker von Saher (NBI 873), nor does it appear on the list compiled by Dési after the war in which she identified the works missing from the collection (Dutch Ministry of Justice files of J. Dik Jr.). The Goudstikker Notebook of May 1940, consulted by the Inspectie Cultuurbezit, has an "A" beside entry no. 2002. They believe this notation identifies that the tondo was one of the works shipped to the United States by Goudstikker before he left The Netherlands. The copy of the inventory of objects acquired by Miedl, which derives from the May 1940 Goudstikker Notebook has an "X" beside entry no. 2002 (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 239/entry 73/Box 80/ filed with reports on Miedl; copy received from Getty Research Institute), which may signify the tondo was not among the works found in the collection upon Miedl's acquisition of the gallery. See correspondence, February 19, 21, 22, and 25, 2002; and March 12 and 25, 2002.

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