With the help of specialists from Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family, c.1585, by Paolo Veronese (1528-88) and Christ Carrying the Cross, c.1500-05, by Lo Spagna (fl.1504-28) are now on display in London.
Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family was accepted in lieu of inheritance tax under a hybrid arrangement and settled more than £3.4m in tax. The National Gallery has made good the difference with a donation of £5.7m thanks to funding from the American Friends of the National Gallery, London. The deal was negotiated by Christie’s.
Negotiated by Sotheby’s, Christ Carrying the Cross was accepted in lieu of inheritance tax from the estate of the Countess of Sutherland and settled £52,500 in tax.
Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family was the only full-length portrait by Veronese in private hands in the UK. Unlike most portraits of Veronese’s later years, which are largely executed by his workshop collaborators, this work is almost entirely by the master.
Christ Carrying the Cross originally belonged with Christ at Gethsemane, which has been part of the National Gallery’s collection since 1900. It seems likely that these panels were the wings of a small portable altarpiece but the central component is lost. They are recorded as being from the collection of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence.