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Kress Collection

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Andrea Vanni

(Siena, Italy, c. 1332 - October 2, 1413, Siena, Italy)

Saint Clare, c. 1360-1400
Tempera on panel
55 1/4 x 18 9/16 in. (140.34 x 47.15 cm)

Creation Place: Europe, Italian
Technique: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961
Accession Number: P61.1.12

Commentary
Saint Clare is depicted here in the veil and heavy robe that are the habit of her religious order. She is shown standing against a gold background, her right hand extended in a gesture of blessing toward the earthenware jug at her feet. Saint Clare was born into a noble family in Assisi. As a young woman, she heard the preaching of Saint Francis and chose to follow him, renouncing her life of privilege. She founded the Order of Poor Clares and lived a life of poverty, focusing her energies on service and personal contemplation.

The current date range (c. 1360-1400) is right for when Vanni was working in Sienna. This was definitely part of larger altarpiece. It was created for a church, not a private home. Given St. Clare's association with Franciscans, this work could have been done for a Franciscan church. St. Clare was a follower of St. Francis. I am sure this was made for a Franciscan order in Sienna. It could have been generally Franciscan, not necessarily somethings specific to St. Clare's life. There would have been other saints flanking each other in the full altarpiece.

Provenance
Spina Collection, Rome. Samuel H. Kress Collection (K1007), 1939. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 1939-1961. Donated by the Kress Foundation to Pomona College in 1961.

Attribution
Attributed to Andrea Vanni by Longhi, ...ins, A. Venturi, Suida, Fiocco, van Marle and Berenson.
Dated c. 1360-70 by Longhi.
c. 1380-90 in Preliminary Catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1941.

Related Objects
A box of Xrays of the Kress Collection is on Shelf G in the Vault (6/5/2018).

Bibliography
Sarah Allen and Julia Patzelt, Beyond Appearance: Constructing Likeness (Claremont: Pomona College Museum of Art, 2003), 17 and 19 (illustrated/ color).
Cicerone, June 1922, Heft II.

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Dimensions
  • Sight Dimensions: 55 1/4 x 18 9/16 in. (140.34 x 47.15 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Frame Dimensions: 63 13/16 x 26 in. (162.08 x 66.04 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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For further inquiries, contact Associate Director/Registrar Steve Comba at steven.comba@pomona.edu.