|Title||Adoration of the Magi with a Donor|
|Collection||Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle|
|Artist|| Attributed to Vincenzo da Pavia (Italian painter, died 1557)
Previously attributed to Vargas, Luis de (Spanish painter, ca. 1505-1567)
|Date Earliest||possibly about 1546|
|Date Latest||possibly about 1550|
This painting probably originated in an altarpiece from one of the Sicilian churches for which Vincenzo da Pavia worked. It represents the Epiphany, or the Adoration of the Magi, as a prototype of the Christian congregation. The Holy Family are set before ruined classical architecture. The ruins, with partly rebuilt roof, allude to the replacement of the Old Dispensation, the law of the Old Testament, with the New Dispensation, the Kingdom of Christ.
The donor in black kneeling in the foreground has been tentatively identified as Francesco Cangelosi, a Sicilian nobleman.
|Current Accession Number||B.M.31|
|Subject||religion (Epiphany, Adoration of the Magi, Holy Family); portrait (Francesco Cangelosi(?))|
|Measurements||258.5 x 209.5 cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil; tempera on panel|
|Acquisition Details||Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.|
|Provenance||Possibly acquired by Prince Antonio Ruffo of Messina, through Agostino Scilla, 1672; possibly given to the Duke of Uceda, by 1698; acquired by the Conde de Quinto, probably from a Spanish monastery, 1835; purchased by John and Joséphine Bowes from the collection of the late Conde de Quinto, 1860, cat. no. 135, as by Luis de Vargas, 2, 000 francs.|
|Publications||Mayer, A. L., 'Die Gemälde Sammlung des Bowes Museum zu Barnard Castle', Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, vol. 23, 1912; Mayer, A. L., Geschichte der Spanischen Malerei, Leipzig, 1922; Gaya Nuño, J., La Pintura Española fuera de España, Madrid, 1958, cat. no. 2808, p. 317, as by School of Luis de Vargas; Bologna, F., Roviale Spagnuolo e la pittura napoletana del cinquecento, Naples, 1959, pl. 92; Kubler, G. and M. Soria, Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and their American Dominions, 1500 to 1800, Harmondsworth, 1959; Soria, M., 'Notes on the Spanish Paintings in the Bowes Museum', The Connoisseur, vol. 148, no. 595, 1961, pp. 30-37; Chiaramonte, V. and Viscuso, T., Vincenzo degli Azani da Pavia e la cultura figurativa in Sicilia nell'età di Carlo V, Palermo, 1999, cat. no. 79, pp. 416-18.|
August L. Mayer agreed with the original attribution to Luis de Vargas or his circle. Martin Soria attributed this painting to the Flemish artist Roland de Mois and dated it to about 1560-70. The current attribution to Vincenzo da Pavia was made by Ferdinando Bologna and supported by Philip Pouncey.
Teresa Viscuso notes the relationship between the Bowes painting and da Pavia's representation of the same subject for the Oratorio di Santa Caterina all'Olivella in Palermo. The same author refers to the hypothesis that the Bowes Adoration could have belonged to the collection of Prince Antonio Ruffo of Messina, who bought 'un quadro di palmi 6 x 5 con la presentazione dei Regi Magi' through the painter Agostino Scilla in 1672. The picture was presented to the Duke of Uceda, who took it to Spain around 1698. The dimensions of the Bowes painting are, however, larger than those recorded in the Ruffo inventory. Viscuso believed that it was part of an altarpiece, which she identified with the paintings for the Chapel of the Crucifix and the Three Magi in the Church of the Padri Minori Osservanti della Gancia, Palermo. The altarpiece for this chapel was commissioned by the Sicilian nobleman Francesco Cangelosi. Cangelosi's will, written in 1546, refers to the recent construction and decoration of this chapel, where he wished to be buried. Viscuso dates the painting between 1546 and 1550, the year of Cangelosi's death. If Viscuso's theory is accepted, the donor on the left would be Francesco Cangelosi.
|Rights Owner||The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham|
|Author||Dr Mercedes Cerón|