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Title Crucifixion
Collection Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Artist Italian (Tuscan) School
Previously attributed to Ceccarelli, Naddo (Italian painter, active ca. 1347)
Date Earliest possibly about 1330
Date Latest possibly about 1360
Description A small portable crucifixion. The cross is surmounted by the emblem of the pelican, the Virgin orans appears at the left of the cross, St John the Evangelist is at the right and Mary Magdalene kneels at its foot. The emblem of the pelican feeding its young on its breast by plucking until it drew blood was a common symbol of Christ's sacrifice. The painted field is edged in distinctive punching. Formed of a separate piece of wood and with its inscription more suited to a small panel of the Virgin, the base appears to have been taken from another work.
Current Accession Number TRURI:1924.59
Inscription front uc (on cross) '.I. N.R.I.'; front l (on frame) 'AVE MARIA GRATIA' [?]
Subject religion (Virgin Mary, St John the Evangelist, St Mary Magdalene)
Measurements 66 x 33 cm (estimate)
Material tempera (?), gold on panel
Acquisition Details Given by Alfred A. de Pass 1924.
Publications Penrose, G. Catalogue of Paintings, Drawings and Miniatures in the Alfred A. de Pass Collection, Truro, 1936, cat. no. 30, p. 9, as by by Naddo Ceccarelli; Wright, C., Old Master Paintings in Britain: An Index of Continental Paintings Executed Before c. 1800 in Public Collections in the United Kingdom, London, 1976, p. 36, as by Naddo Ceccarelli.

The dimensions include the frame. Label (that of Mr de Pass;)'§The Crucifixion§ / Naddo Ceccharelli/ Circa 1347'; inscription '59'1924'.

A note on the accession document states that the attribution was supplied by Mr Edward Hutton, a friend of Mr De Pass, who relied on Fitzwilliam cat. no. 30, attributed to Naddo Ceccharelli. The latter piece has some similarity to the Truro panel, but it is now given to School of Pietro Lorenzetti, see J. W. Goodison and G. H. Robertson Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, Catalogue of Paintings, II (Italian Schools), Cambridge, 1967, cat. no. 558, pp. 87-88.

Dillian Gordon of the National Gallery agrees that the work should not be attributed to Naddo Ceccharelli, but is not sufficiently close to Pietro Lorenzetti to warrant an attribution to his circle, preferring to describe it as Tuscan.

Alfred A. de Pass (1861-1953) was born in South Africa, where his father and grandfather had established a business empire which included interests in shipping, guano, copper mining and sugar farming. After retiring from the family firm at age 36, Alfred pursued his interest in art collecting. For a period he lived in Cornwall, where he took an active interest in the Truro museum, then called the Royal Institution of Cornwall. In 1917 he was elected Associate of the Institution and in 1920 became its Vice-President. His gifts to the museum between 1914 and 1947 included many works of Western European fine and decorative art, including an important collection of old master drawings, as well as Oriental paintings, ceramics, metal work and textiles. For a list of Mr de Pass' donations of Western European paintings and drawings to the Truro museum up to 1936 see G. Penrose (cited below). He also donated to a number of other museums, including the National Gallery, the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Fitzwilliam, and the South African National Gallery.

Biographies and discussion of Mr de Pass' interests and donations may be found in: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The De Pass Collection: Paintings, Furniture, Ceramics etc., Illustrated Catalogue, Bristol, 1936; Popham, A.E., An Exhibition of Drawing from the Alfred A. de Pass Collection belonging to the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro, London, 1957; Walker, R., The De Pass Family, unpublished dissertation, Bristol Polytechnic, 1979; Price, B.D., Biographical Notes on Alfred Aaron De Pass (1861-1952) Art Benefactor Extraordinary, Falmouth, 1982; Nail, N., ‘The Cornish curator and the cosmopolitan collector: a note on George Penrose, 1876-1951, and Alfred de Pass, 1861-1953', Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 1993, New Series II, I, 3, pp. 277-89; Berriman, H., ‘Introduction' in M. Joannides, Exhibition Catalogue of Master Drawing from the De Pass Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, London, 1994, pp. 7-11; Tietze, A., The Alfred de Pass Presentation to the South African National Gallery, exhibition catalogue, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 1995; Irvine, G., and T. Daniel, Japanese Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Cornwall, 2001.

Rights Owner Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Author Dr Susan Steer



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