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#ProvenancePeek: June 30
Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.
This portrait of actress Antonia Zárate by Goya is now part of the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. The records of famed art dealer M. Knoedler & Co. at the Getty Research Institute reveal its recent provenance: the painting was sold by Knoedler on June 30, 1910, to financier Otto Beit. Part of his collection, including this painting, was later donated to the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. To this day the Gallery showcases some of its greatest masterpieces in the Beit Wing. This spread from a digitized Knoedler stock book records the transaction (second entry from top).
M. Knoedler was one of the most influential dealers in the history of art. He sold European paintings to collectors (such as Henry Clay Frick, the Vanderbilts, and Andrew Mellon) whose collections formed the genesis of great museums such as the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the Huntington, and more. Knoedler’s stock books have recently been digitized and transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free.
Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate, ca. 1805–06, José de Goya y Lucientes. Beit Collection, National Gallery of Ireland. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
#ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.