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Core Record

Title St Margaret and the Dragon
Alternative Title St Margaret
Collection Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Werff, Adriaen van der (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1659-1722)
Date 1714 (dated)
Signed yes
Description This painting was probably commissioned by the Electress Palatine in Düsseldorf for her mother, Marguerite d'Orléans. It was a common Roman Catholic tradition to keep images of the patron saint after whom one was named. St Margaret was devoured by Satan in the form of a dragon but escaped thanks to her crucifix which made its belly burst. Van der Werff was strongly influenced by the ideals of neoclassicism, and this work is no exception. The carefully composed drapery of St Margaret's flowing robes, her graceful pose and marble-like complexion are all reminiscent of classical statues.
Current Accession Number Art00316
Former Accession Number Marling no. 81
Inscription front ll 'Chev r v r / Werff fe 1714'
Subject religion (St Margaret); figure; animal (dragon)
Measurements 43.0 x 31 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Samuel Stanley Marling 1963.
Provenance Probably painted for Marguérite d'Orléans; acquired by Augustin Blondel de Gagny; probably purchased by Claude Tolozan, Paris, at the De Gagny sale, Rémy, Paris, 10 December 1776, 4801 francs; possibly purchased by Villiers, architect, Paris, at the Tolozan sale, Paillet-Delaroche, Paris, 23 February 1801, 4779 francs or in Paris, 1811, 3200 francs; possibly purchased by Prince Talleyrand at the Villiers sale, Paris, 30 March 1812, 2880 francs; purchased with Talleyrand collection by William Buchanan through Bonnemaison before 9 July 1817, 320,000 francs; acquired by Edward Gray, Harringey House, Hornesey, Middlesex; acquired by Alexander Baring, later Lord Ashburton, The Grange, Northington, Hampshire, by 1833; by descent ; Ashburton collection purchased by Agnew's, 1907; probably purchased by Alfred Rothschild; by descent to Alminia, Countess of Carnarvon, Seymour Place, London; purchased by F. B. Greenstreet, Duke Street, St James's and Goldhawk Road, London, at the Countess of Carnarvon sale, Christie's, London, 22 May 1925, lot 105; purchased by Agnew's as property of Greenstreet (deceased), Christie's, London, 17 December 1926, lot 48, £99.10s.; acquired by Samuel Stanley Marling.
Principal Exhibitions Images of a Golden Age, Dutch Seventeenth-Century Painting, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1989-1990, cat. no. 96, as St. Margaret; The Cabinet Picture, Dutch and Flemish Masters of the Seventeenth Century, Richard Green at Three London Galleries, 1999, cat. p. 18.
Publications Blanc, C., Le Trésor de la Curiosité, vol. 1, 1857, p. 314 ; Buchanan, W., Memoirs of Painting with a Chronological History of the Importation of Pictures by the Great Masters into England since the French Revolution, London, 1824, vol. 2, p. 344; Descamps, J. B., La Vie des peintres flamands, allemands et hollandois, 1761, vol. 3, p. 394; Hofstede de Groot, C., A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeeth Century , Esslingen, 1928, vol. 10 , cat. no. 100; Gaehtgens, B., Adriaen van der Werff, 1659-1722, Munich, 1987, p. 354, ill. pl. 99; Smith, J., A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, London, 1829-1842, vol. 4, p. 203, cat. no.77; Waagen, G., Treasures of Art in Great Britain, London, 1854-57, vol. 2, p. 105; Wright, C., Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collectors, Birmingham, 1989, p. 120, ill p. 120, fig. 96, pl. 31; Wright, C., The Cabinet Picture, Dutch and Flemish Masters of the Seventeenth Century, London, 1999, pp. 18, 206, ill. p. 19.

Van der Werff was knighted in 1703 and the 'Chev r' in his signature referes to 'Chevalier'.

See Wright, C., The Cabinet Picture, Dutch and Flemish Masters of the Seventeenth Century, London, 1999, p. 206 for provenance history.

Samuel Stanley Marling, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Rights Owner Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Anne L. Cowe



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