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Landscape with St. OnuphriusEnlarge image

Landscape with St. Onuphrius, after 1574

Unknown (Dutch?/Flemish?/German? - 16th century, after Girolamo Muziano, Italian, 1532-1592)

oil on copper
39.7 x 28.6 cm
Purchased 1968
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15679)

Onuphrius was a fourth-century ascetic saint from Thebes who, after being raised in an Egyptian monastery, chose the life of a hermit. He lived for sixty years in the wilderness with a cave as his home. Onuphrius's full beard and growth of body hair ultimately protected him from the natural elements, but according to one German legend led to his death after hunters mistook him for a wild beast.

Inscriptions 

on verso: “173” in chalk

Provenance 

– c.1967
Joan Booth, Cambridge, UK [1]

– 1967/02/22
Westminster Memorial Trust, London, UK, given by Joan Booth [2]

1967/02/22 –

G. Nehmad, Milan, Italy, purchased from Westminster Memorial Trust [3]

by 1968
Yvonne Tan Bunzl, London, UK, purchased from G. Nehmad [4]

1968/08/22 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from Yvonne Tan Bunzl [5]

Notes 

[1] Landscape with St. Onuphrius was given by Miss Joan Booth of Cambridge to the Westminster Memorial Trust in early 1967 to raise funds for the Westminster Theatre, a centre for Christian drama in London [email by Stanley Kiaer, former Secretary of the Westminster Memorial Trust, to Anke Kausch, NGC Provenance Research Project, August 17, 2008]. Ms. Booth came from a prosperous family of British retailers. The painting was sold by the Westminster Memorial Trust at Sotheby's, London, on Feb. 22, 1967 [lot 173, repr.].

[2] See note [1].

[3] Milan art dealer G. Nehmad acquired the painting at the 1967 Sotheby's sale [letter by Julian Stock of Sotheby's, London, to NGC research curator Myron Laskin Jr., dated Nov. 24, 1969].

[4] According to Julian Stock, London art dealer Yvonne Tan Bunzl purchased the painting from G. Nehmad [see note 3].

[5] Accession log [NGC curatorial file]

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