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Title Dives and Lazarus
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Giordano, Luca (Italian painter, 1634-1705, active in Italy and Spain)
Date Earliest about 1660
Date Latest about 1705
Description The Neapolitan Giordano was nicknamed 'Luca fa Presto' (Do it quick, Luke) by his contemporaries because of his enormous output and versatility. He studied in Naples, Rome, Florence and Venice where he copied works by Tintoretto and Veronese whose style clearly influenced this composition. The parable of Dives and Lazarus is taken from Luke, 16. 19-31. A rich man, Dives, dressed in fine clothes feasted daily while a poor man, Lazarus, lay at his gate starving, dogs licking his sores. In time, both men died and Lazarus was carried to Heaven but Dives descended to Hell.
Current Accession Number 1954P41
Former Accession Number P.4154
Subject religion (Dives and Lazarus))
Measurements 116.0 x 195 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from P. & D. Colnaghi 1954.
Provenance Mrs G. Cornwallis-West; Cornwallis-West sale, Christie's, 11 July 1919 (with incorrect size of 47.5 x 57 ins), lot 45, bought by Renton; Mrs D. Mallet du Cros.
Principal Exhibitions Wrexham, 1876, cat. no. 64; Paintings by Old Masters, Colnaghi's, 1954, cat. no. 16; Italian Art, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1955, cat. no. 52a; Pictures from Birmingham, Agnew's, 1957; Primitives to Picasso, Royal Academy of Arts, 1962, cat. no. 54.
Publications Scavizzi, O. F. G., Luca Giordano, 1954, pp.162, 178, fig.19; Apollo, August 1957, p. 7; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Ferrari, O. and G. Scavizzi, Luca Giordano, 1966, vol. 2, p. 287; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 74, ill.
Notes Other versions have occasionally appeared on the art market; one was sold at Sotheby's 18 February 1959, lot 72, bought by Betts, and another version belonged to Julius Weitzner 1959, bought by David E. Rust, curator of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1962.

On back: '51 CY', which is the number assigned to the paintings belonging to Major Cornwallis West in the Christie's sale, 11 July 1919. Therefore, despite the discrepancy in size, this must be 1954P41. However, Christie's, in a letter of 1960, wrote that it was unlikely that the size would not have been amended in the catalogue. Christie's suggested that this picture could have been one of 23 pictures that were considered unfit for sale and another, different version was actually sold.

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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