Nativity

 
Creation date
Materials
tempera and gold leaf on wood
Dimensions
10 x 20 in. 18 x 27-1/4 in. (framed)
Credit line
Courtesy of The Clowes Fund
Accession number
2014.89
Collection
Currently On View
Probably Hugo Kilényi [1840-1926], Budapest. {1} Ercole Canessa [1868-1929], New York, Paris and Rome; {2} Alfred F. Seligsberg [1869-1933], New York, by 1934; Sale at (American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York) in 1934. {3} Probably purchased from this sale by (E. and A. Silberman Galleries, New York); Dr. G.H. A. [George Henry Alexander] Clowes [1877-1958], Indianapolis, in 1934; {4} Clowes Fund Collection, Indianapolis, in 1958, and on long-term loan to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Courtesy of the Clowes Fund, since 1971 (C10001); given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2014.

{1} Kilényi is given as a former owner in a letter from Abris Silberman to Allen W. Clowes, dated 25 May 1959. (The famous Kilényi collection at Budapest was dispersed at auction in 1917 and 1927). However in provenance information provided to G.H.A. Clowes on 22 January 1949 by William E. Suida, hired to produce a catalogue of the collection that was never published, Suida recounts that Silberman believed that the painting was previously in Zagreb, in the collection of Count Désan Jankovith. Neither has been confirmed as the previous owner.
The very early provenance of this predella panel is uncertain. It has been suggested by some, including in A. Ian Fraser, A Catalogue of the Clowes Collection, 1970, p. 8, that it may have been one of three works seen by Vasari in the Bartolomeo Gondi [died 1577] collection, but there is little evidence for this.
{2}Canessa is given as the former owner in the 1934 auction catalogue (see footnote 3). Canessa’s estate was dispersed at auction in 1930 with the assistance of the attorneys Edmond E. Wise and Alfred F. Seligsberg. It is not known if Seligsberg purchased this painting from this auction, or obtained it by other means.
{3}American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, Paintings from the estates of the late Henry Walters, William D.N. Perine, Alfred S.(sic) Seligsberg, Charles A. Schieren…, 11-13 January 1934, lot no. 537 as “Attributed to Fra Angelico.”
{4}See bill of sale from A. Silberman to G.H.A. Clowes, dated 6 October, 1934, in IMA Clowes Archive (C10001).
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