Paolo Veronese - The Coronation of Hebe, 1580-1589

Studio of Paolo Veronese (Verona, 1528 - 1588, Venice)

The Coronation of Hebe, 1580-1589

Oil on canvas, 387 x 387 cm (152 3/8 x 152 3/8 in.)

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Object details

Accession number

P25c26

Provenance

Installed in a ceiling of Palazzo della Torre, Udine.
Acquired by Antonio Marchesi when he took possession of the palace from Count Gerolomo della Torre in 1580.
Returned to the possession of the della Torre family in 1613 through the marriage of Count Gildo della Torre to Caterina Marchesi.
Purchased from Count Sigismondo della Torre for 900 ducats and transferred to casa Businello alla Croce in Venice by Francesco Vezzi on 21 April 1692.
Owned by Angelo Quirini by 1776.
In the Manfrin collection, Venice by 1856-1896.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from Boudariat, Paris, through Fernand Robert her agent in the city, for 125,000 francs on 19 January 1899.

Bibliography

Catalogue. Fenway Court. (Boston, 1903), p. 17.
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 198.
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), pp. 409-11, ill.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 284-86, ill.
Terisio Pignatti. “Veronese and The Coronation of Hebe at the Gardner Museum.” Fenway Court (1986), pp. 31-7, fig. 1.
Hilliard Goldfarb. 'The Coronation of Hebe', in Hilliard Goldfarb et al. Italian Paintings and Drawings Before 1800 in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unpublished manuscript. (Boston, 1996-2000).
Virginia Brilliant and Frederick Ilchman. Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice. Exh. cat. (Sarasota: John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2012), p. 155.


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Commentary


Of all the Renaissance painters adored by Gilded Age collectors and amateurs, Paolo Veronese ranks among the top.  His lush visions of heaven, vast biblical banquets, and sumptuous mythological scenes evoke a richly operatic fantasy of Renaissance Venice that fueled the imagination of Gardner and her friends.


While American collectors idolized Veronese's most famous works, his vast mythological scenes and towering altarpieces were both hard to come by and impractically large for most houses.  Yet, in 1899, while construction of the museum was well under way, Gardner acquired this canvas attributed to Veronese (now thought to be by his studio) and painted for the Dalla Torre family's mainland palace at Udine in the 1580s.  Crowned with the flowers of Cupid in a court of gods and goddesses, The Coronation of Hebe was a subject fit for the queen of Fenway Court by a painter whom she and contemporaries held in high esteem.

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