Kenneth Reed Bequest for the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Katrina Grant

Kenneth Reed, a Sydney-based lawyer, has announced that  he will bequeath a substantial collection of old master paintings, as well as collections of Italian Maiolica and eighteenth-century European porcelain to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. There are more than 70 items in total and the bequest will represent a significant addition to the gallery’s European collection.

The paintings include a large number of landscapes – including view paintings and architectural capricci – several portraits and several religious a scenes. The most significant is perhaps the fully finished sketch or modello by the seventeenth-century painter Andrea Camassei ‘St Peter in prison baptising Saintss Processus and Martinian’ (c. 1630-1), which he painted in preparation for an altarpiece in fresco at St Peter’s in Rome. The fresco was destroyed in the eighteenth century to make way for Antonio Canova’s tomb of Clement XIII.

There are paintings of religious scenes in the bequest from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These include ‘The Entombment’ (early 1540s) by Giuseppe Salviati (a pupil of Francesco Salviati).  One of Sassoferrato’s many depictions of the Virgin at Prayer (after 1640s) and a depiction of ‘Noli me tangere‘ (1718-20) by Francesco Solimena. There is also a ‘Holy Family‘ (c. 1790) (see included images) by the English painter Joshua Reynolds, which shows them at prayer in a landscape setting accompanied by a young John the Baptist.

The bequest includes several eighteenth-century view paintings and architectural capricci . A Hubert Robert ‘Temple with Ruins’ (1765) (see see included images) that shows a small circular temple based on the temple of Vesta at Tivoli, which has been converted into a small church. A view of Venice by Antonio Joli ‘Venice: the Dogana  and San Giorgio Maggiore‘ (c. 1744-9) and a view of a pyramid in a landscape by the French Jacques de Lajoüe, who is well known for his architectural capricci set into landscapes and gardens.

The landscapes include a work by the Genovese painter Alessandro Magnasco that is dated between 1710 and 1749 and depicts a dark and sinister landscape, with strong contrasts of light and shade – a type of landscape that was apparently very popular with patrons in Genoa and Milan. There is also a more serene River scene with a fort, sailing ships and figures (1659) by the Dutch artist Salomon van Ruysdael. This is complemented by another Dutch landscape of the same period by Jan van Goyen ‘Landscape with Monastery‘ (1649).  There are also several landscape with mythological scenes, such as Abraham Bloemart’s ‘Cimon and Iphigenia‘ (late 1620s) (above), which will complement a nineteenth-century painting of the same scene by Lord Leighton, also in the gallery’s collection.

There are several still life and genre scenes, including a banquet ‘still life’ by the Dutch artist Abraham van Beyeren ‘Still life with fruit, a glass and a Chinese Wanli porcelain bowl‘ (1656) (see included images). This painting belongs to a period when van Beyeren was working in The Hague between 1640 and 1657. The scene includes an array of fruit with a ‘roemer’ of wine and a blue and white Chinese Wanli bowl of the type imported in the 17th century by the Dutch East India company.

There is a portrait of John Calvin by Corneille de la Haye that dates to the middle of the sixteenth century. A portrait by Peter Lely painted between 1675 and 1680, which has been traditionally identified as Dorothy Mason who became Lady Brownlow of Belton House, Lincolnshire. She is shown in a setting with the Diana fountain from Hampton Court in the background. A portrait by John Hoppner of Mademoiselle Hilligsberg (1791) (see included images), who was a leading dancer in London in the late eighteenthc century.  She was noted for her ‘chaste and simple’ style of dancing and her ‘light and elegant’ execution. Particularly popular were her performances in men’s clothes.

See the full list of paintings below.

The pictures are to remain on show in the Gallery’s old courts until 16 January 2011 and will then return to Mr Reed until the bequest takes effect. The ceramics will remain on show.

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Full list of paintings

Andrea Camassei (Italy 1602–1649)
St Peter in prison baptising Sts Processus and Martinian
about 1630-31
oil on canvas

Francesco Fontebasso (Italy 1707–1769)
Rachel hiding the idols from Laban
about 1740-60
oil on canvas

Giacinto Gimignani (Italy 1606–1681)
Time revealing truth
oil on canvas

Antonio Joli (Italy about 1700–1777)
Venice: the Dogana  and San Giorgio Maggiore
about 1744–49
oil on canvas

Alessandro Magnasco (Italy 1667–1749)
about 1710-49
oil on canvas

Giuseppe Porta, called Giuseppe Salviati (Italy 1520–about 1570)
The entombment
early 1540s
oil on canvas

Giovanni Battista Salvi, called Sassoferrato (Italy 1609–1685)
The Virgin at prayer
after 1640
oil on canvas

Andrea Meldolla, called Andrea Schiavone (Italy about 1510–1563)
Mythological subject
about 1560?
oil on panel

Francesco Solimena (Italy 1657–1747)
Noli me tangere
oil on canvas

Corneille de la Haye, known as Corneille de Lyon (France 1500/10–1575)
Portrait of John Calvin
about 1540?
oil on panel

Jacques de Lajoüe (France 1686-1761)
Landscape with pyramid
about 1740
oil on canvas

Hubert Robert (France 1733-1808)
Landscape with temple
about 1765
oil on canvas

Abraham van Beyeren (Netherlands 1620/21-1690)
Still life with fruit, a glass and a Chinese Wanli porcelain bowl
oil on panel

Abraham Bloemaert (Netherlands 1566-1651)
Cimon and Iphigenia
late 1620s
oil on panel

Quiringh van Brekelenkam (Netherlands after 1622-1669? or after)
Man cleaning fish with two children
about 1660
oil on panel

Hans Bollongier (Netherlands 1598/1602¬–1672/75)
Vase of flowers with a snail and a caterpillar
oil on panel

Jan van Goyen (Netherlands 1596–1656)
Landscape with a monastery
oil on panel

Cornelis Cornelisz. van Haarlem (Netherlands 1562–1638)
Christ triumphant
oil on panel

Maria van Oosterwÿck (Netherlands 1630–1693)
Flowers and grapes hanging from a ring
date unknown
oil on panel

Salomon van Ruysdael (Netherlands 1600/03?–1670)
River scene with a fort, sailing ships and figures
oil on panel

David Teniers II (Belgium 1610–1690)
Landscape with a man feeding chickens
oil on panel

John Hoppner (England 1758–1810)
Mademoiselle Hilligsberg
oil on canvas

Peter Lely (England 1618–1680)
Portrait of Dorothy Mason
about 1675-80?
oil on canvas

Joshua Reynolds (England 1723–1792)
The Holy Family
about 1790
oil on canvas

George Romney (England 1734–1802)
Portrait of William Hamilton
oil on canvas