Godfrey of Boulogne Summons His Chiefs to Council

Godfrey of Boulogne Summons His Chiefs to Council
Artist:
Francesco Guardi (Italian, 1712-1793)
Date:
c. 1755
Medium:
Oil on canvas 
Dimensions:
98-1/2 x 43-1/4 in. (250.2 x 109.9 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
F.1976.17.P 
Copyright:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View
Description

Antonio Guardi’s vivid brushwork imparts an atmospheric quality to this painting inspired by the epic poem Gerusalemme Liberata (“Jerusalem Delivered”). Written by Torquato Tasso, and published in 1581, the poem was loosely based on the First Crusade. Its many romantic and magical episodes were deeply stimulating to artists. Guardi combined two sequential moments here: we see God’s messenger, the angel Gabriel, returning to heaven having delivered the news to Godfrey that he has been chosen to lead this First Crusade. In response, Godfrey delivers an impassioned speech to rouse the knights in their campaign. The painting formed part of an ambitious series of eight canvases whose narratives derived from Gerusalemme Liberata, and this may account for the tall, narrow format that Guardi selected for the composition.

Provenance:

Palazzo in Este or the Veneto.
Richard White, 2nd earl of Bantry (1800-1868), County Cork, Ireland, by 1820/1830, by descent to;
Mrs. Clodagh Shelswell-White, by 1956, to;
[Patrick O’Connor, with Neville Orgel and others in a consortium, Dublin, ca. 1956];
[Neville Orgel, Dublin (sale, London, Sotheby’s, 27 November 1963, lot 50, bought in by “Graham”)].*
[Herbert N. Bier, London, sold July, 1969 to];
[Schaeffer Galleries, Inc., New York, stock no. 2588, sold 29 November 1976 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation

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