Worcester Art Museum's new Veronese

September 24 2013

Image of Worcester Art Museum's new Veronese

Picture: Worcester Art Museum

I'm slightly late on this I'm afraid, but last month the Worcester Art Museum acquired the above Veronese, 'Venus Disarming Cupid', which (the New York Times reports) was once a bit of a sleeper:

 The museum announced Wednesday that it had acquired one of the few paintings by Paolo Veronese still in private hands, “Venus Disarming Cupid,” believed to be from 1560. Its attribution to Veronese came relatively recently, in 1990, when the painting was auctioned at Christie’s.

The work, based on a drawing by Parmigianino and one of several paintings of the same theme known to have been made by Veronese, sold for $2.9 million to the collector Hester Diamond, who has decided to give it to the Worcester in honor of her stepdaughter, Rachel Kaminsky, a museum board member. In a statement Ms. Diamond said, “The Worcester Museum’s willingness to explore new ideas for encouraging audiences of every age to think differently about art reflects the arc of my own collecting.” Matthias Waschek, the museum’s director, called the donation “a game changer for our collection.”

When the painting’s previous owner consigned it to Christie’s, the work was identified as “Circle of François Boucher.” But the Veronese expert Terisio Pignatti and W. R. Rearick, an authority on 16th-century Venetian painting, endorsed its attribution to Veronese after examining it. The work has been described as notable for the expression on the face of Venus, a mixture of triumph, amusement and consternation. The painting was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in late 2006 and will go on view at Worcester beginning Sept. 21 as part of the museum’s re-installation of its old-master galleries.

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