The National Gallery acquires two paintings via a government tax scheme

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National Gallery, London.

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Christ carrying the cross by Lo Spagna (fl.1504-28) is now in the collection of the National Gallery. Image: The National Gallery, London.

With the help of specialists from Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family, circa 1585, by Paolo Veronese (1528-88) and Christ carrying the crossc.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 in a hybrid arrangement and settled over £3.4million in tax. The National Gallery made a difference with a £5.7 million donation thanks to funding from the American Friends of the National Gallery, London. The deal was brokered 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

Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family by Paolo Veronese (1528-88) is now in the collection of the National Gallery. Image: The National Gallery, London.

Portrait of a Gentleman of the Soranzo Family was the only full-length portrait of Veronese in private hands in the UK. Unlike most portraits of Veronese’s later years, which were largely executed by his workshop associates, this work was almost entirely done by the master.

Christ carrying the cross originally belonged to Christ in Gethsemane, which has been in the collection of the National Gallery since 1900. It seems likely that these panels were the wings of a small portable altarpiece, but the central element is lost. They are recorded as coming from the collection of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence.

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