Artibus et Historiae no. 56 (XXVIII)

2007, ISSN 0391-9064

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JAYNIE ANDERSON - "Through adversity to renown": Giovanni di Paolo's painting of a Crucifixion in Canberra

In 1977, on the advice of Sir John Pope-Hennessy, the National Gallery of Australia acquired a rare work, a Crucifixion by the Quattrocento Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo. The painting is first recorded as an anonymous Italian work in the J. J. Visser collection, at The Hague, and emerged in the London sales in 1973, and has no early provenance. The artist was recognized by Pope-Hennessy, who had published the first monograph on Giovanni di Paolo in 1937, and for whom he had a life-long absorbing interest.
The Crucifixion is one of the most significant early Italian Renaissance works in Australia, and has been rarely discussed following its arrival in Canberra. In this article infra red reflectograms are published for the first time, which allow us to interrogate the painting. It is a unique example of an artist's patronage.

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