Colnaghi Foundation Journal 02 - Magazine - Page 112
The taste for Paolo Veronese in early Stuart London
The taste for Paolo Veronese in early Stuart London
I am grateful to Jeremy Wood and to Paul Joannides
for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this
paper. For a sketch of the sixteenth-century painters
whose work was most keenly sought by seventeenthcentury collectors, see Francis Haskell, The King’s
Pictures. The Formation and Dispersal of the Collections of
Charles I and his Courtiers (New Haven and London:
Yale University Press, 2013), pp. 33-47. A brief survey
of Veronese in collections in early seventeenth-century
London is provided by Klara Garas, “Veronese e il
collezionismo del nord nel XVI-XVII secolo,” in Nuovi
studi su Paolo Veronese, ed. Massimo Gemin (Venice:
Arsenale Editrice, 1990), pp. 16-24 (pp. 20-22).
“que sean originales de Ticiano, Pablo Veronese o
oltras pinturas antiguas de opinion.” See Albert J.
Loomie, “New Light on the Spanish Ambassador’s
Purchases from Charles I’s Collection 1649-53,”
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 52 (1989):
pp. 258-259. In a comparable episode a decade earlier,
the papal nephew Cardinal Francesco Barberini had
the papal nuncio to Venice look out for paintings by
Veronese to buy for him. In a letter to the Cardinal of
July 1632, the nuncio’s secretary, Giovanni Antonio
Massani, wrote that the artist’s works had become
almost as much in demand on the Venetian market as
those of Titian: see William Barcham and Catherine
Puglisi, “Paolo Veronese e la Roma dei Barberini,”
Saggi e memorie di storia dell’arte 25 (2001): p. 86.
For this episode, see Sarah W. Schroth, “Charles I, the
duque de Lerma and Veronese’s Edinburgh Mars and
Venus,” Burlington Magazine 139 (1997): pp. 548-550; see
also Jonathan Brown, “Mars and Venus,” in The Sale of
the Century. Artistic Relations between Spain and Great Britain,
1604-1655, eds. Jonathan Brown and John Elliott
(New Haven and London: Yale University Press,
2002), pp. 190-191, no. 23. Schroth points out that the
Lerma collection possessed a number of copies after
Veronese, but only one other original, an unidentified
Four Seasons. In addition, the Spanish royal collection
possessed the Annunciation, commissioned by Philip II
as part of the retablo for the high altar of the Escorial.
See Jonathan Brown, “Portrait of Charles V with Hound,”
in Brown, Elliot, Sale of the Century, pp. 188-189, no. 22.
See Elizabeth Goldring, “A Portrait of Sir Philip Sidney
by Veronese at Leicester House, London,” Burlington
Magazine 154 (2012): pp. 548-554. Earlier discussions
of the lost portrait of Sidney by Veronese include
David Rosand, “Dialogues and Apologies: Sidney and
Venice,” Studies in Philology 88 (1991): pp. 236-249; and
Roger Kuin, “New Light on the Veronese Portrait of
Sir Philip Sidney,” Sidney Newsletter & Journal 14 (1997):
Quoted by Hilary Maddicott, “A Collection of the
Interregnum Period. Philip, Lord Viscount Lisle, and
his Purchases from the ‘Late King’s Goods’, 16491660,” Journal of the History of Collections 11 (1999): p. 2.
For this episode, see Timothy Wilks, “The Picture
Collection of Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset (15871645) Reconsidered,” Journal of the History of Collections
I (1989): pp. 167-177; Albert R. Braunmuller, “Robert
Carr, Earl of Somerset, as Collector and Patron,” in
The Mental World of the Jacobean Court, ed. Lindy Levy
Peck (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991),
pp. 230-250; Jonathan Brown, Kings and Connoisseurs:
Collecting Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe (New Haven
and London: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 19;
Robert Hill, “The Ambassador as Art Agent: Sir
Dudley Carleton and Jacobean Collecting,” in The
Evolution of English Collecting. The Reception of Italian Art
in the Tudor and Stuart Periods, ed. Edward Chaney (New
Haven and London: Yale University Press), 2003,
pp. 241-255; Christina M. Anderson, The Flemish
Merchant of Venice: Daniel Nijs and the Sale of the Gonzaga
Art Collection (New Haven and London: Yale University
Press, 2015), pp. 81-89.
For the Arundel inventory, see Lionel Cust and Mary
L. Cox, “Notes on the Collections Formed by Thomas
Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, K.G.,” Burlington
Magazine 19 (1911): pp. 278-286, 323-325; the three
“Hercules” paintings are listed on p. 286. See also
Mary Hervey, The Life, Correspondence and Collections
of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1921), pp. 473-500 (with
the Veroneses listed on p. 490).
See Brown, Elliot, Sale of the Century, pp. 292-293.
The Birth is described as: “otro cuadro en tela del
Naçimiento de Hércules, en que ay 9 figuras, de mano
del dicho Veronés, de vara y media de alto y tres y
media de ancho.” The other two are described as:
“dos quadros de un tamaõ, en tela, uno de Hércules
y otro de la uirtud y el uicio, con tres figuras en
cada uno menores que al natural, de mano de dicho
Veronés, de vara y sesma de alto y uara 2/3 de alto
(sic)”; Brown, Elliot, Sale of the Century, 2002, p. 293. A
vara was equivalent to ca. 84 cm.
For these two works, see Terisio Pignatti and Filippo
Pedrocco, Veronese, 2 vols. (Milan: Electa, 1995), II, pp.
428, 482-483. Here, conventionally, the Virtue and Vice
is identified with a work recorded by Ridolfi in the
palace of Giovanni Battista Sanudo in Venice shortly
before 1646: see Carlo Ridolfi, Le maraviglie dell’arte
(1648), ed. Detlev von Hadeln, 2 vols. (Berlin: G.
Grote, 1914-1924), I, p. 338. Indeed, the description
corresponds closely, and it is theoretically possible
that the Sanudo picture could have been briefly in
the Arundel collection before being acquired by
Cárdenas for Haro. But Ridolfi makes no mention of
any pendant representation of a Family of Cain, and
on balance it seems more likely that the Prado pair is
identical rather with two of the “Hercules” paintings
sent to England in 1613. The Sanudo picture was
presumably, then, another version of the same
All this leaves open the question of whether, if the
present titles of the two paintings are correct, and if
neither has anything to do with Hercules, they were
originally painted as pendants.
See the inventories of Gaspar de Haro of 1682-1683
and 1689 published in Marcus Burke and Peter
Cherry, Collections of Paintings in Madrid, 1601-1755, 2
vols. (Los Angeles: The Getty Institute, 1997), I, pp.
726-786, doc. 109, and pp. 830-877, doc. 115.
For Arundel as a collector, see Hervey, Life,
Correspondence and Collections; and David Howarth, Lord
Arundel and his Circle (New Haven and London: Yale
University Press, 1985); Jonathan Brown, Kings and
Connoisseurs. Collecting Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe
(New Haven and London: Yale University Press,
1995), pp. 17-22; Haskell, The King’s Pictures, p. 16.
For Sandrart’s visit to Arundel House, see Hervey, Life,
Correspondence and Collections, pp. 255-256. The term
he used for these works was “Contrafäte”: in other
words, they were certainly portraits and not paintings
Richard Lassels, Voyage or a Complete Journey through Italy
(Paris, 1670), p. 437.
Howarth, Lord Arundel, p. 142.
“un retrato intero en lienzo de Marco Antonio Colona
de mano de Paolo Veronés”; Brown, Elliot, Sale of the
Century, p. 293.
In a memorandum by Cárdenas of April 1659 the
dimensions of the Centurion are given as 2 ¼ by 3 ¼
vara; the Four Seasons as 2 ½ by 1 2/3 vara each; and the
Adoration of the Magi as more than a vara high by more
than two wide; Brown, Elliot, Sale of the Century, pp.
292-293. The Annunciation is not listed in this document,
but in the inventory of Gaspar de Haro of 1651-1653,
its dimensions are given as 2 ¼ by 3 vara, and in that
of 1689 as 2 by 3 2/3 vara; Burke, Cherry, Paintings in
Madrid, I, p. 472, doc. 49, and p. 844, doc. 115.
For the Prado Christ and the Centurion (192 x 297 cm),
see Pignatti, Pedrocco, Veronese, I, pp. 282-283; Matilde
Miquel Joan, “Christ and the Centurion,” in Brown,
Elliot, Sale of the Century, pp. 272-273, no. 62.
“Un quadro de la Anunziazion de nra sra Con el
Angel quarto Colunas y un pais con zipreses original
de Pablo Verones”; Burke and Cherry, Paintings in
Madrid, I, p. 844, doc. 115.
Burke, Cherry, Paintings in Madrid, I, p. 851, doc. 115.
Ridolfi, Le maraviglie, I, p. 318.
See Nicholas Penny, National Gallery Catalogues: The
Sixteenth-Century Italian Paintings, Volume I: Venice 15401600 (London: The National Gallery, 2008), pp.
391-392. The author expresses some uncertainty
about whether the National Gallery Saint Helena is
identical to the one in the Contarini collection, and
leaves open the possibility that the Arundel version
may be that listed in the collection of Rubens in 1640.
Yet there is no particular reason to link the Arundel
and the Rubens versions, whereas the very fact that
Arundel clearly did acquire the Christ and the Centurion
and the Four Seasons from the Contarini collection
makes it highly probable that he also bought the Saint
Helena from there at the same time. Presumably the
engraving by Lucas Vorsterman dates from the period
when the picture was owned by the Countess, between
1646 and 1654, and the drawing by Jan de Bisschop
was made when it was in the possession of Philips de
Flines in Amsterdam (by 1671, when De Bisschop
died). See Amy E. Golhany, “Jan de Bisschop’s St
Helena after Veronese,” Master Drawings 29 (1981): pp.
For the Imstenraedt collection, see Fritz Grossmann,
“Notes on the Arundel and Imstenraedt Collections,”
Burlington Magazine 84 (1944): pp. 151-155, 173-176;
Henry Ley, “The Imstenraedt Collection,” Apollo 94
(1971): pp. 50-59.
See Eduard Safarik, “Un capolavoro di Paolo
Veronese alla Galleria Nazionale di Praga,” Saggi e
memorie di storia dell’arte 6 (1968): pp. 81-110; Pignatti,
Pedrocco, Veronese, II, pp. 330-331.
Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting in England, ed.
Ralph Wornum, 3 vols. (London: Chatto and Windus,
1876), I, p. 293, n. 3: “Old Earl fece rubare pezzo di
quell quadro di Veronese a Padova, but it was spoiled,
says Mr Jer. Lanier.”
He cannot, however, have bought it in Padua in 16451646, since Symonds clearly implies that it was seen
in London by Jerome Lanier, uncle of the king’s agent
Nicolas (see previous note).
For this work (142 x 208 cm), the early provenance of
which is unknown, see Pignatti, Pedrocco, Veronese, II,
For an overview of the taste for Veronese in France,
see Jean Habert, “Le goût pour la peinture de
Véronèse en France à l’époque classique,” in Venice &
Paris 1500-1700. La peinture vénitienne de la Renaissance et
sa réception en France, ed. Michel Hochmann (Geneva:
Droz, 2011), pp. 299-348. The author lists six
Veroneses acquired by Louis XIV from Jabach in
1662, but none of them had English provenances.
Although the Feast at Cana (Louvre) was not brought
to Paris until 1798, Louis XIV was already attempting
to buy it, together with the Family of Darius before
Alexander (London, National Gallery), in 1663-1664.
See Habert, “Le goût,” p. 311.
For Buckingham as a collector, see Lita-Rose
Betcherman, “The York House Collection and its
Keeper,” Apollo 92 (1979): pp. 250-259; Brown, Kings
and Connoisseurs, pp. 23-33; Philip McEvansoneya,
“Italian Paintings in the Buckingham Collection,” in
Chaney, The Evolution of English Collecting, pp. 315-336,
with references; Haskell, The King’s Pictures, pp. 16-20.
For Gerbier, see I. G. Philip, “Balthazar Gerbier
and the Duke of Buckingham’s Pictures,” Burlington
Magazine 99 (1957): pp. 155-156; Betcherman, “The
York House Collection”; Haskell, The King’s Pictures,
See Philip McEvansoneya, “Some Documents
Concerning the Patronage and Collections of the
Duke of Buckingham,” Rutgers Art Review 8 (1987): p.
29, n. 18.
See the list in Philip, “Balthazar Gerbier”. Nor is
anything by Veronese included in a list of Venetian
paintings acquired for Buckingham in Venice in 1626
by the English ambassador of the period: see Susan
Bracken and Robert Hill, “Sir Isaac Wake, Venice
and Art Collecting in early Stuart England. A New
Document,” Journal of the History of Collections 24
(2012): pp. 183-198.
For the 1635 inventory, see Randall Davies, “An
Inventory of the Duke of Buckingham’s Pictures, etc,
at York House in 1635,” Burlington Magazine 10 (19061907): pp. 376-382.
For the 1650 inventory, see Brian Fairfax, A Catalogue
of the Curious Collection of Pictures of George Villiers, Duke
of Buckingham (London: W. Bathoe, 1758). For the
circumstances of the compilation of the inventory,
see Philip McEvansoneya, “The Sequestration and
Dispersal of the Buckingham Collection,” Journal of
the History of Collections 8 (1996): pp. 133-154.
Abraham van der Doort’s inventory of Charles’s
collection of ca. 1639 lists a “Leda on a white bed,
with a white swan holding her right hand, under a
purple curtain”, and notes that it had been acquired
from the Duchess of Buckingham in exchange for “a
Mantua picture”. This was Fetti’s Vision of Saint Peter
(now lost), and the exchange took place in 1634; see
Oliver Millar, “Abraham van der Doort’s Catalogue
of the Collection of Charles I,” The Walpole Society 37
(1958-1960): pp. 59, 190. The dimensions are given
as 3 foot 10 inches by 3 foot 2 inches (ca. 116.8 x 96.5
cm), which are very close to those of the painting
in Ajaccio (121 x 100 cm). The first definite record
of the latter dates from no earlier than the midnineteenth century: see Splendeur de Venise 1500-1600.
Peintures et Dessins des Collections Publiques Françaises, exh.
cat. (Bordeaux and Caen: Musée des Beaux-Arts de
Bordeaux and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, 2005),
p. 262. It accordingly seems reasonable to identify
it with the Buckingham-Charles I picture, and then
with the one in the Orléans and Stafford collections:
see Peter Humfrey, “Veronese in the Collection of
the 2nd Marquess of Stafford in Early NineteenthCentury London,” in Paolo Veronese. Giornate di Studio,
eds. Bernard Aikema, Thomas Dalla Costa and Paola
Marini (Venice: Lineadacqua editore, 2016), pp.
125-135 (pp. 129-130). The picture is judged to be of
workshop quality by Pignatti, Pedrocco, Veronese, II, p.
504, no. A1, but this assessment seems unduly severe.
For the Veroneses listed in the Aarschot inventory,
see Alexandre Pinchart, “La collection de Charles de
Croy, duc d’Arschot, dans son château de Beaumont,”
Archives des Arts, Sciences et Lettres 1 (1860): pp. 163-164.
No. 47, entitled “La Vierge Marie fuyant en Égipte”,
was presumably a variant of several extant versions
of the subject of the Rest on the Flight by the late
For this series of pictures, see Pignatti, Pedrocco,
Veronese, II, pp. 466-472. For the circumstances of the
acquisition of the Buckingham pictures by Leopold
Wilhelm on behalf of the emperor, see Klara Garas,
“Die Sammlung Buckingham und die kaiserliche
Galerie,” Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 40 (1987):
pp. 111-121. For further discussions of the Aarschot
group and of their iconographical programme,
see Beverly Louise Brown, “The so-called Duke of
Buckingham series,” in Gemin, Nuovi Studi su Paolo
Veronese, pp. 231-240; and Friderike Klauner, “Zu
Veroneses Buckingham-Serie,” Wiener Jahrbuch für
Kunstgeschichte, 44 (1991): pp. 107-119.
Although Arundel and Buckingham were not on
friendly terms, it cannot be excluded that Arundel might
sometimes have made an offer for a picture that the duke
– or perhaps, more likely his widow – could not refuse.
See McEvansoneya, “The Sequestration and
Dispersal,” p. 143.
Fairfax, Catalogue of the Curious Collection, p. 10.
The Washing of the Feet is recorded in 1650 with the
same dimensions as those of the Aarschot pictures
(except for the Anointing of David). It is not, however,
listed in the Aarschot inventory (for which see
above, note 39), and as pointed out by Klauner, “Zu
Veroneses,” p. 110, its proportions were originally
somewhat different: ca. 30 cm less in width, but
rather taller. This alteration of format presumably
took place while the painting was in the possession of
Buckingham or his estate.
For the Anointing, see Pignatti, Pedrocco, Veronese, I, pp.
“Je supplie que vos. Exc. voye les chambres de cést
Esvecque de Paris, et icelle voira en quell bel ordre
les tableaux sont acommodéz & comment tout est
riche. Et pour la mor de Paolo Veronnese, qu’il plaise
à vos. Exc. d’abiller les murailles de la gallerie: povres
murailles blanches, elle moureront de froid cést hiver!”
See Godfrey Goodman, The Court of King James the First,
2 vols. (London: Richard Bentley, 1839), II, p. 343.
See Jeremy Wood, “Orazio Gentileschi and Some
Netherlandish Artists in London: the Patronage of
the Duke of Buckingham, Charles I and Henrietta
Maria,” Simiolus 28 (2000-2001): pp. 103, 111-113.
Calendar of State Papers, Venice, vol. 18 (1623-1625),
ed. Allen B. Hinds (London: His Majesty’s Stationary
Office, 1912), p. 258. The message is usually
interpreted as referring to a room in the Doge’s
Palace, but McEvansoneya, “Documents Concerning
the Patronage and Collections,” pp. 29, 34 (see also
McEvansoneya, “Italian Paintings in the Buckingham
Collection,” p. 321 and p. 335, n. 21) was surely correct
to infer that Buckingham’s request was for Veronese’s
paintings still in place on the Library ceiling.
For Rubens’s ceiling canvas for York House (destroyed
by fire at Osterley House, 1949), see Gregory Martin,
“Rubens and Buckingham’s ‘fayrie ile’,” Burlington
Magazine 108 (1966): pp. 613-618.
“Confesso che per conto di pitture excellenti delle
mani de maestri della prima classe, non ho giamai
veduto una si gran massa insieme, come nella casa
real e del gia ducca di Buckingam.” Charles Ruelens
and Max Rooses, eds., Correspondance de Rubens et
documents épistolaires concernant sa vie et ses oeuvres, 6 vols.
(Antwerp: Veuve de Backer, 1887-1907), V, p. 152.
For the borrowing from Rubens, as well as for the