The figures in this highly detailed masterpiece are carefully organized according to celestial hierarchy, which allows the viewer to identify a great number of them by their positions and by the iconographic attributes they hold. The support for this painting is copper. The smoothness of the thin copper sheet allows the artist to apply the oil paint with virtually no visible brushstrokes, which permits a crispness of detail and endows the meticulously finished surface with a luminous quality.
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- Titles Last Judgment (Proper)
- Artist Leandro dal Ponte, called Leandro Bassano, Italy, 1557 - 1622
- Medium oil on copper
- Dimensions 28 x 19 in. (71.1 x 48.3 cm) frame: 37 × 29 1/8 × 2 1/4 in. (94 × 74 × 5.7 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.114
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Signature None
- Marks None
- Inscription Verso, frame, upper frame rail, upper left, white chalk: 66780 Verso, frame, upper frame rail, upper left, graphite on white sticker: KRESS #7 Verso, frame, upper frame rail, graphite on sticker with red boarder: 5997/2 Verso, frame, upper frame rail, center left, black marker" 4256/12 [upside down] Verso, frame, upper frame rail, center left, white chalk: HNG[?]]RO[?] 5 Verso, frame, upper frame rail, center left, red crayon: GA64 Verso, frame, upper frame rail, center right, black chalk: 75851/301 Verso, frame, upper frame rail, center right, black marker: 5 Verso, frame, upper frame rail, upper right, white chalk: KRESS Verso, frame, upper frame rail, upper right, black marker: 1431 Verso, frame, left frame rail, center, black crayon: 75851 / * / 301 Verso, frame, left frame rail, center, black crayon: 4 Verso, frame, left frame rail, center, black crayon: Pestere [?] Backing board, verso, upper right, typed label: A GIFT TO AMERICA: MASTERPIECES OF / EUROPEAN PAINTING FROM THE SAMUEL H. / KRESS COLLECTION / North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC / February 5 - April 24, 1994 / The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX / May 22, August 14, 1944 / Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA / September 15 - November 20, 1994 / The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, CA / CAT.NO.7 / Leandro Bassano (Italian, 1557-1662) / Paradise and the Last Judgement, c.1595-1605 / Oil on copper / 26x19 inches / Birmingham Museum of Art
- Provenance Possibly Bernardo Giunti, Venice and Florence, before 1648. Possibly with M. de Bertillac [see note 1]. Possibly Philip, Duc d'Orléans (1672-1723), Palais Royal, Paris, by 1727 [see note 2]; by descent to his grandson, Louis-Philippe-Joseph (Philippe Egalité) (1747-1793), until 1792; possibly purchased by Vicomte Édouard de Walkuers, Brussels, 1792 [see note 3]; possibly purchased by François-Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Laborde-Méréville (1761-1802), 1792, who took it to London [see note 4]; possibly with Jeremiah Harmann, London; possibly purchased by a consortium consisting of Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater (1736-1803), Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825), and the Earl Gower, 1798 [see note 5]; possibly auctioned by W. Bryan Gallery, London, December 26, 1798, no. 7; possibly Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater (1736-1803), Pall Mall, London, until 1803 [see note 6]; by descent to his nephew, Lord Gower, later 2nd Marquis of Stafford (1758-1833), Cleveland House, London, until 1833 [see note 7]; by descent to his son, Lord Francis Leveson-Gower (later Egerton), 1st Earl of Ellesmere (1800-1857), Bridgewater House, London, until 1857 [see note 8]; by descent to John Sutherland, 5th Earl of Ellesmere and Duke of Sutherland (1915-2000), until 1946; auctioned by Christie, Manson & Woods, London, October 18, 1946, lot 53; with S. Hartveld Galleries, New York [see note 9]. With Paul Drey, New York [see note 10]. Probably with Julius Weitzner, New York [see note 11]; purchased by Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), New York, April 17, 1947; on loan to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1952; gift of the Kress Foundation to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama,1961
1. Anna Jameson, Companion to the most celebrated private galleries of art in London: containing accurate catalogues, arranged alphabetically, for immediate reference, each preceded by an historical & critical introduction, with a prefatory essay on art, artists, collectors, & connoisseurs (London: Saunders and Otley, 1844), p. 96. No further information on the identity of M. de Bertillac is known.
2. Louis François Dubois de Saint-Gelais, Description des Tableaux du Palais Royal avec La Vie des Peintres à la tête de leurs Ouvrages. Dédiée a Monseigneur Le Duc D'Orléans Premier Prince du Sang. 2nd revised edition (Paris: D'Houry, 1727) p. 288.
3. William Buchanan, Memoirs of Painting, with a Chronological History of The Importation of Pictures by the Great Masters into England since the French Revolution (London: Ackermann, 1824) 1: p. 17.
4. Ibid, p.17-18.
5. Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss, (London: John Murray, 1854), 2: p. 487. The Earl Gower may be Granville Levenson-Gower, 2nd Earl Gower (1721-1803).
6. According to the bill of sale from Contini-Bonacossi to the Kress Foundation dated September 17, 1947. A nearly identical version of the Birmingham Bassano exists in the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Japan, collection number P.1999-0003. Provenance listed prior to 1961.114’s descent to Lord Gower, later 2nd Marquis of Stafford (1758-1833) may refer to the Birmingham or Tokyo version. Provenance after 1803 refers only to the Birmingham version. See object file.
7. John Britton, Catalogue raisonné of the pictures belonging to the Most Honourable the Marquis of Stafford, in the Gallery of Cleveland House(London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1808), p. 94.
8. According to the bill of sale from Contini-Bonacossi to the Kress Foundation dated September 17, 1947. See object file.
9. According to a transcribed document relating to the S. Hartveld Galleries in the archives of the Frick Art Research Library. The transcription dates from September 30, 1968. See object file.
10. According to an undated letter from Paul Drey to Samuel H. Kress at the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
11. According to an undated and unattributed note, probably from the Kress Foundation. See object file.