Title: The Annunciation
Date: 1712
Artist: Paolo de Matteis
Italian, 1662–1728
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
81 1/8 x 70 1/8 in. (206.1 x 178.1 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object Number: 69:1973
Place made: Naples, Italy
Current Location: On View, Gallery 204
Notes:
In this scene from the biblical New Testament, the archangel Gabriel arrives bearing news that the Virgin Mary will bear a child, the infant Jesus. The clouds beneath the messenger, his accompaniment of winged cherubs, and a golden glow, make it clear that he is divine. A dove in the golden aura near the top of the canvas symbolizes God sending the child into Mary’s womb. The artist used soft colors and delicate forms to evoke a sense of poetic ideal.
Signed: c.r., on prie-dieu: Paulus de Matthei/ fe:1712
Provenance
1712 -
Aurora Sanseverino, Duchess of Laurenzano (1667-1726), Naples, Italy, commissioned from the artist [1]

-1905
Prince Henry of Bourbon-Parma, Count of Bardi (1851-1905), Parma, Italy; Menton, France

1906/04/02
In sale of the collection of Prince Henry of Bourbon-Parma, E. Hirschler and Company, Vienna, Austria, April 2, 1906, lot no. 68 [2]

- 1973
Heim Gallery, London, England

1973 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Heim Gallery [3]

Notes:
[1] According to the artist's biographer, Bernardo de' Dominici ("Vite de' Pittori, Scultori e Architetti Napoletani," Naples, III, pp. 535-36), Sanseverino commissioned two paintings, an "Annunciation" and an "Adoration of the Shepherds." The "Adoration" is in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, also signed and dated 1712. De' Dominici wrote "As were also so praised the two paintings which he painted for the duchess of Laurenzano of glorious memory: in one of them he represented the Annunciate, and in the other the Birth of Christ, both painted with amenity, and with noble colors;..."

[2] See the auction catalog ["Katalog einer aussergewöhnlich wertvollen und reichhaltigen, Gemälde- und Kunstsammlung aus ehemaligem Besitze, Prinz Heinrich von Bourbon, Graf von Bardi." E. Hirschler and Co., Vienna, Austria, April 2, 1906, lot no. 68, p. 12.]

[3] Invoice from Heim Gallery, dated July 30, 1973 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, July 23 1973.

Exhibition History
Title: Annually Renewable Loan, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Date: June 2008–July 2011
Venue: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Title: Paintings and Sculptures of the Italian Baroque - Summer Exhibition
Date: May 30 - September 21, 1973
Venue: Heim Gallery
Publication History
Title: Katalog einer aussergewöhnlich wertvollen und reichhaltigen, Gemälde- und Kunstsammlung aus ehemaligem Besitze, Prinz Heinrich von Bourbon, Graf von Bardi
Author: E. Hirschler and Company
Title: Museum Accessions
Periodical Title: Antiques
Author: Karen M. Jones
Title: Baroque into Rococo: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Paintings
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: Judith Mann
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: European paintings and Drawings: The Williams Collection and Fund
Author: Pinkney L. Near
Title: Naples to the Netherlands
Periodical Title: Apollo
Author: Theodore Crombie
Title: Virginia rehang
Periodical Title: The Art Newspaper
Edition: Nov
Year Published: 2008
Title: Paolo de Matteis: Neapolitan and Cultural History in Baroque Europe
Author: Livio Pestilli
Title: Acquisitions: The Annunciation by Paolo de Matteis
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: Nancy Ward Neilson
Title: Vite de' pittori, scultori ed architetti Napoletani
Author: B. de Dominici
Title: Notable Works of Art on the Market
Periodical Title: The Burlington Magazine
Edition: June
Year Published: 1973
Title: Paintings and Sculpture of the Italian Baroque - Summer Exhibition, May 30 - September 21, 1973
Author: Heim Gallery
Title: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Calendar / November-December
Author: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Title: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Calendar / May-June
Edition: May-June
Year Published: 2008
Title: A Taste for Angels: Neapolitan Painting in North America, 1650-1750
Year Published: 1987
Title: Museum Expansion Update : Saint Louis Painting Travels to Virginia
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
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