The National Museum of Western Art

update 25 June 2020

on display Permanent collection

Carlo Crivelli [Venice, 1430/35 - Ascoli?, after 1494]

St. Augustine

Datec. 1487/88 (?)
Materials/Techniquestempera on panel
Size (cm)140.7 x 39.5
Credit LineEx-Matsukata Collection
Standard ref.Zampetti 120; M344
CategoryPaintings
Collection NumberP.1962-0005
St. Augustine

This full-length image of a priest wearing a long beard and bishop's crown shows the figure holding three books and is thought to be St. Augustine, one of the Latin church patriarchs. Without question, this painting was originally part of a polyptych altarpiece. In 1961 Federico Zeri attempted a reconstruction of the original altarpiece and indicated that there are three other panels extant of the same size, format and background that are thought to be part of the same altarpiece (St. Lawrence, Thyssen collection, Madrid; St. Ambrose, the Office for National Art Property, The Hague, and St. John the Baptist, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford). While there is no specific evidence to support his claim, Zeri believes that these four works were part of the altarpiece for S. Lorenzo of Castel San Pietro, described in records in which Crivelli is said to have received the deposit for the work in 1487. The figural type seen here corresponds to those of many of the sainted bishops he depicted (such as St. Augustine, Colonna Gallery, Rome), and it is possible that the dullness of the depicted line could speak of the intervention of his disciples. This work passed from the Butler collection of London to the hands of Matsukata Kojiro, and was brought to Japan prior to World War II. The painting was displayed in the 3rd Matsukata Collection exhibition held in 1930 as the work of Vittore Crivelli, Carlo's younger brother. The painting then passed into private hands in Japan and was purchased by the NMWA in 1962. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 13)

Provenance

Charles Butler, London; sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, 25-26 May 1911 (£110.5); Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell's Gallery, London [gallery label on the reverse]; Kojiro Matsukata, Kobe; pledged by Matsukata to save his business, Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd., Kobe and then seized by Jugo Bank, Tokyo, 1927; 3rd Matsukata sale, Tokyo, 17 May–4 July 1930, lot 24, as by Vittorio Crivelli, repr.; Hōraishokusan & Co., Tokyo; deposited in NMWA, 16 July 1960–27 March 1963, Dep. 60-21 (D-12); purchased by the NMWA, 1963.

Exhibition History

1930
The 3rd Exhibition of the Matsukata Coll., Tokyo, 17 May 1930 - 4 June 1930, cat. no. 24, repr. (attributed to Vittorio Crivelli)
1960
The Masterpieces of the Ex-Matsukata Collection, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 14 May 1960 - 10 July 1960, cat. no. 26, repr.
1999
Florence and Venice: Italian Renaissance Paintings and Sculpture from the State Hermitage Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 20 March 1999 - 20 June 1999, cat. no. 13
2019
The Matsukata Collection: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey: Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 11 June 2019 - 23 September 2019, cat. no. 10, col. repr.

Bibliography

1957
Berenson, Bernard. Italian pictures of the Renaissance, Venetian school. vol. 1, London, 1957, p. 69.
1958
Berenson, Bernard. Pitture italiane del Rinascimento, elenco dei principali artisti e delle loro opere con un indice dei luoghi: la Scuola veneta. I, Firenze, 1958, p. 72.
1961
Zampetti, P. Crivelli e Crivelleschi (Catalogo della Mostra di Venezia). 1961, p. XXI, p. 101.
1961
Catalogue du Musée National d'Art Occidental, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1961 (Préface and Catalogue Général in Japanese and French), D-12.
1961
Zampetti, Pietro. Carlo Crivelli. Milano, Aldo Martello, 1961, p. 93, fig. 120.
1961
Zeri, Federico. Cinque schede per Carlo Crivelli. Arte Antica e Moderna. vol. 13, 1961, pp. 158-176, pl. 65b (attributed to Carlo Crivelli and his workshop, as a wing of the polyptych for the church of San Lorenzo in Castello).
1967
Annual bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. No. 1, 1967, Catalogue of the New Acquisitions. pp. 4-5, no. P-322. repr.
1967
Sasaki, Hideya. Crivelli saku 《St. Augustine》. Annual bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. No. 1, 1967, pp. 62-64, repr. (in Japanese).
1971
Les cent chefs-d'oeuvre du Musée National d'Art Occidental. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1971 (Japanese), no. 20, repr.
1975
Bovero, Anna. L'opera completa del Crivelli. Milano, 1975, p. 97, no. 136, repr.
1979
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo: Catalogue of paintings. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1979, no. 77, repr.
1990
The Old Matsukata Collection. Kobe City Museum, ed. Kobe, "Matsukata Korekushon Ten" Jikkoiinkai, 1990, cat. no. 500.
2006
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2006 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 13, col. repr.
2009
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2009, no. 13, col. repr.
2013
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 13, col. repr.
2018
The Matsukata Collection: Complete Catalogue of the European Art. Kawaguchi, Masako; Jingaoka, Megumi, eds. vol. 1: Paintings, Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2018, cat. no. 344, col. repr.

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