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Recent acquisitions (1995–2004) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge of acquisitions at the Fitzwilliam Museum, published in this Magazine in 1995, many thousands of objects have been acquired by the Museum, including the William Conte collection of Norman and Angevin coins (750 items) and the Boscawen collection of Renaissance bronzes which was published as a supplement in THE BURLINGTON MAGAZINE in December 1997. Here we reproduce twenty-three further highlights to illustrate both the scope and the quality of acquisitions made over the past decade in virtually all of the areas represented in the Museum’s collections. The record is the more remarkable considering the paucity of restricted funds for purchases. On the other hand, the Museum has always been dependent upon the generosity of its supporters. Gifts and bequests remain vitally important and range from the ancient sun-dried brick from Ur (Fig.I), which is more than 4,000 years old, to Marc Quinn’s print of 2000 (Fig.XXIII). The acceptance of works of art by the government in lieu of inheritance tax and their subsequent allocation to museums provides in certain cases a tax-efficient alternative to outright bequest, and one which we, in common with other museums, are pleased to promote as long as the allocations continue to be made in accordance with the testators’ wishes. It is thanks to that route that five of the outstanding works illustrated here were secured, counting as one the three figures from the Family of man by Barbara Hepworth (Fig.XXII), which remain in situ among the marsh reeds at Snape in Suffolk, in itself an indication of the Museum’s widening, regional role. Ever since they were founded in 1909, the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum have played a crucial role in acquiring works of art. Every penny raised in subscriptions goes into a discretionary fund which can be used to make outright purchases or, invaluably, to provide down-payments for expensive items. For the last, we depend heavily upon external sources of funding, among which three in particular deserve mention. The Museums and Galleries Commission’s purchase grant fund administered by the Victoria and Albert Museum supports purchases of objects up to a value of £300,000. Happily no ceiling applies as far as the National Art Collections Fund is concerned; our gratitude to the NACF is compounded both by the regularity with which it supports our efforts and by the fact that it is often the first to pledge support, thereby lending weight to our efforts to raise money from elsewhere for particularly important acquisitions. Finally, like all museums, we have become increasingly dependent upon the Heritage Lottery Fund for those very large grants that are essential if we are to compete for major SINCE THE LAST SUPPLEMENT

I. A brick from Ur, dating to 2094–2047 B.C., 18 by 17.5 cm. Given by Mrs P. Caesar (WAE.1.2003). This sun-dried mud brick, which bears a stamped cuneiform inscription naming Shulgi, King of Ur from 2094 to 2047 B.C., was discovered by the donor while clearing out a wardrobe in her Cambridge house. Accompanying the brick were yellowing slips of paper stating that it came from ‘a partition wall in the vaults of the Royal Tombs discovered at Ur in November–December 1930’. The brick was given to a relation of Mrs Caesar’s in the 1930s by a member of Sir Leonard Woolley’s Ur expedition. The cuneiform inscription may be translated: ‘Shulgi / strong man / King of Ur, / King of Sumer [and Akad]’. Shulgi was one of the most energetic builders of the Third Dynasty of Ur and many bricks bearing the same and similar stamps have been found both in tombs and in other contemporary structures, including the Ziggurat.

acquisitions. Each time we apply to the HLF we do so in the national interest and, in most cases, in the face of fierce international competition for the objects we try to secure. Of the works illustrated here, the painted tondo of the Madonna and Child by Sebastiano del Piombo (Fig.VIII), Barocci’s modello for his altarpiece depicting The Institution of the Eucharist (Fig.X) and Samuel Palmer’s Autumn landscape (Fig.XVIII) all fall into this important category. Faced by ever-rising prices and increasingly frequent threats of export, the Lottery Fund will continue to carry an enormous burden of responsibility until such time as the government finds other ways to help those museums which, like ours, are determined to protect the heritage as well as to enrich their collections pro bono publico. DUNCAN ROBINSON, DIRECTOR

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II. Mycenaean one-handled cup. Fifteenth century B.C. Clay with brown glaze, 7.5 cm. high. Purchased from the Greg Fund, with a contribution from the Resource/V. & A. Purchase Grant Fund (GR.2.2002). This thin-walled cup of an unusually fine cream-coloured clay is decorated with a band of stylised lilies in brown glaze. It was probably made on the Greek mainland by Mycenaean craftsmen but echoes contemporary Minoan shapes and styles.

III. Head vase with black and white female heads. Athens, c.450 B.C.; assigned to Class G (the London Class). Fired clay, 19.7 cm. high. Purchased from the Greg Fund, with a contribution from the National Art Collections Fund (GR.2.1999). This is a fine example of a popular type of vase that combines two different heads set back to back. The heads were mould-made, and attached before firing to the wheel-made upper and lower parts of the vase. The juxtaposition of black and white heads is a reasonably common occurrence in this type of vase. It may have been considered a striking visual statement of the differences between the Greeks themselves and those black African peoples with whom they had come into contact in Egypt and North Africa. IV. King David in prayer, by Mariano del Buono di Jacopo (1433–?1504). Florence, c.1480–90. Illuminated vellum leaf, 11.5 by 8.5 cm. Purchased from the Wormald Fund with a contribution from the Resource/V. & A. Purchase Grant Fund (MS.11–2001). Until this acquisition was made, the work of Mariano del Buono, who illuminated some of the most sumptuous manuscripts in Renaissance Florence, was not represented in the Fitzwilliam’s collections. The vellum leaf would have opened the Penitential Psalms in a de luxe book of hours. The closest parallels to the gold acanthus of the initial and the fashionable borders rich in semi-naturalistic foliage, Renaissance putti, pearls and gem-studded ornaments, are found in manuscripts made for Lorenzo de’ Medici. The German translation of the Psalm text in a book of hours made in Italy is unique. It suggests German patronage in late fifteenth-century Florence or a local commission intended as a private or diplomatic gift.

V. Fort d’or for Charles de France, Duke of Aquitaine from 1469 to 1472; struck at Bordeaux. Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum, with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the National Art Collections Fund (CM.522–1995). One of the rarest and most celebrated coins of the French feudal series. It was struck at the former English mint of Bordeaux shortly after the French crown took possession of Aquitaine at the end of the Hundred Years War. The image of the strong prince subduing a lion could also have been read by contemporaries as symbolising the French victory over England.

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VI. The dead Christ supported by mourning angels, by Liberale da Verona (c.1445– 1527/29). c.1489. Tempera and oil on panel, 116.5 by 76 cm. Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum (PD.21–2003). Liberale, whose early career was spent as an illuminator of manuscripts in Siena, returned to Verona c.1476. He then visited Venice, where he was influenced by the work of Giovanni Bellini. It may also have been in Venice that he learned to use oil paint as well as tempera. There is a strong sense of sculptural form in this painting, which may once have been set at the top of a large complex altarpiece.

VIII. Madonna and Child, by Sebastiano del Piombo (1485–1547). c.1513. Panel, 68.5 cm. diam. Purchased with grants from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Art Collections Fund with contributions from the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum (PD.55–1997). The Christ Child holds a goldfinch, symbol of his future Passion. The landscape is reminiscent of Venice which Sebastiano had recently left to settle in Rome. The figures of both Madonna and Child derive from figures in Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling, the first part of which was unveiled in 1512. The use of a tondo-form is not common in Venice, but Sebastiano has brilliantly understood its possibilities, above all how its constraint can be used to psychological effect.

VII. The Virgin and Child enthroned with Sts Cosmas and Damian, with Sts Eustace and George in the background, by Gian Francesco Maineri (active 1489–1506). c.1500. Panel, 28 by 21 cm. Bequeathed by the Hon. Sir Steven Runciman, C.H. (PD.30–2000). Maineri, who was probably born in Parma, studied with Ercole de’ Roberti in Ferrara and worked for Isabella d’Este at Mantua. This exquisitely painted panel, intended for private devotion, may have been a present for one of the Medici, as the physicians Cosmas and Damian were their patron saints.

IX. Dish with Hero and Leander. Pesaro, for Sforza di Marcantonio. 1561. Maiolica, inscribed on back ‘61/S’, 30 cm. diam. Purchased from the F. Leverton Harris and L.D. Cunliffe Funds (C.21–1995). Sforza di Marcantonio of Casteldurante was recorded as a potter or as a painter in Pesaro between 1550–52 and 1563–80. It seems likely that he had previously worked in Urbino because his choice of subjects, iconography and inscriptions was influenced by dishes painted there by Francesco Xanto. The figure of Leander here derives from a print from the school of Marcantonio Raimondi known as the Battle with the cutlass. The inscription on the reverse, ‘Leandro in Mare &/ Hero alla finestra’, comes from Petrarch’s Trionfi, III, 21. the burl ington m agazin e

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X. The Institution of the Eucharist, by Federico Barocci (1528/35– 1612). 1604. Pen, brown ink and brown wash over black chalk, heightened with white and with selected areas worked up in grisaille oil, squared in black chalk on paper, 51.5 by 36.2 cm. Purchased from the Gow Fund, with contributions from the National Art Collections Fund and the National Heritage Lottery Fund, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (PD.1–2002). Barocci’s last great altarpiece was commissioned in 1603 by Pope Clement VIII (Aldobrandini) for his family chapel in the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, where it hangs to this day. This drawing was a modello, serving as a guide to the creation of the full-size cartoon from which Barocci painted the altarpiece.

XI. Teresa of Avila’s vision of the dove, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). c.1614. Panel, 97 by 63 cm. Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum (PD.43–1999). Teresa was a Carmelite nun and founder of the Bare-footed Carmelites. In her Life, written 1563–65, she recounts the vision of a dove she had on the eve of Pentecost. She died in 1582, but Teresa’s beatification and canonisation were rushed through because of the personal interest of Philip II of Spain. In 1614 she was beatified and in about that year Rubens painted three images of her, probably all part of a campaign towards her canonisation, which took place in 1622.

XII. Portrait medal of Lucy Harington, by Nicolas Briot (c.1579–1646). 1625. Cast and chased silver, 5.3 by 4.2 cm. Purchased from the Cunliffe Fund, with a contribution from the National Art Collections Fund (CM.2111–2003). Lucy Harington (1581–1627), wife of the 3rd Duke of Bedford, was one of the most interesting and vivacious women in court circles. A friend of Queen Anne, she was a patron of John Donne, Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones. The reverse of the medal shows a serpent with a tail coiled around its head and is inscribed ‘Iudicio non metu’. Briot was a celebrated French coin engraver, medallist and inventor of minting machinery. He came to Britain in 1625, where he became the principal die engraver at the Royal mint and master of the mint in Edinburgh.

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XIII. Cabinet. Flemish, Antwerp, c.1640–60 (the stand later). Ebony, bone and mirror, with oak panels inside the door and top, painted in oils, 66.5 by 82.2 by 36.9 cm.; stand, 88.5 by 87.2 by 45.7 cm. Given by Louise Nichols, Birgit Carolin and Hélène Mitchell, in memory of their parents, Johannes Herman and Hélène Warning, and their grandparents, Robert and Hélène de Vos (M.54–1997). Cabinets decorated with oil paintings on the interior surfaces were made in large numbers in Antwerp between the 1620s and the 1660s. The fronts of the small compartments are painted with figures in landscapes, while the two doors and the underside of the lid in the top bear episodes from the story of the prodigal son, possibly by Frans de Momper (1603–60). The central door conceals a ‘perspective’ – an illusionistic compartment with a chequered floor, mirrors and painted figures of a man and a woman.

XIV. Body of a beaker. Flemish, probably Antwerp, c.1660. Ivory, carved in high relief with a frieze of Diana with her attendants and hounds returning from the chase. 15.6 cm. high, 12 cm. diam. at base. Purchased from the Perceval Fund, with a contribution from the National Art Collections Fund (M.5–2002). This ivory was intended to be mounted in silver, or silvergilt, as a beaker, or possibly, given its size, as a tankard. The style of the exuberant Baroque frieze on the exterior is close to that of the Flemish sculptor Lucas Faydherbe (1617–97), whose ivory carving was inspired by Rubens.

XV. Covered tankard, ewer and basin. London, 1660. Tin-glazed and painted earthenware inscribed ‘C/T:H 1660’, the tankard painted with a castle, flying a flag bearing the arms of London. Tankard, 26.9 cm. high; ewer, 24 cm. high; basin, 36.9 cm. diam. Bequeathed by Mrs Jean M. Hext (C.6&A–2001, C.7–2001, C.8–2001). Dated sets of English delftware other than small plates are extremely rare, and the importance of this group is enhanced by the existence of a matching tankard, purchased in London in 1911 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher and bequeathed to the Museum in 1928. Mrs Hext’s pieces came from her late husband’s home, Trenarren, near St Austell, Cornwall. The initials, if the normal conventions were followed, are those of a man and wife whose surname begins with a C or an H.

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XVI. Sunrise. Mist effects, by Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714–89). Signed and dated 1760. 100 by 136.8 cm. Bequeathed by Dr D.M. McDonald, 1991, with a life interest to his widow, relinquished 1996 (PD.20–1997). Painted towards the end of Vernet’s thirty-year stay in Italy, this is one of three compositions made as a series to illustrate different times of day; the others, representing Noon and Sunset, painted in the same year, are also in the Fitzwilliam’s collection. Vernet’s paintings were particularly appreciated for their rendering of vapeurs (‘vapours’, or atmospheric effects) which Sir Joshua Reynolds remarked gave them a realistic quality only possible in paintings ‘produced while the impression is warm from Nature’.

XVII. A poet’s monument attended by two female mourners, by Simon-Louis Boizot (1743–1809). Terracotta on original carved and partly gilded wooden socle, inscribed ‘BOIZOT / SCULPTOR / REGIS. / FECIT ANNO 1790’, 41 by 36 cm. Purchased from the Cunliffe and Perrins Funds with contributions from the National Art Collections Fund and the Museums and Galleries Commission’s Purchase Grant Fund administered by the Victoria and Albert Museum (M.55–1997). This is an admirable example of Boizot’s skilful composition of intimate figure groups in a graceful Neo-classical style. Its highly finished state suggests that it was conceived as a work in its own right, rather than as a model for a larger sculpture in another medium. The older woman probably represents Erato, the muse of lyric poetry which, together with the lyre on the pedestal and the date 1790, raises the possibility that the terracotta was a memorial to Antoine Bertin (1752–90), a cavalry captain whose volume of elegiac poems, L’Amour (1780), earned him the accolade of the ‘French Propertius’.

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XVIII. Autumn landscape with a view to the sea, by Samuel Palmer (1805–82). c.1834–35. 26.7 by 38.1 cm. Purchased from the Fairhaven Fund with contributions from the National Art Collections Fund and the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (PD.8–2003). Previously entitled ‘On Chaldon Down, Dorset’, the scene represented is almost certainly in Devon. It may be identified with a painting of the north Devon coast, Scene from Lee, north Devon, that Palmer exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1835. Palmer came to consider the countryside of south-west England to be ‘his ideal of English scenery’. Here he combines an awareness of the idealised compositions of Claude with the intensity of vision of his Shoreham period of the previous decade. Most remarkable of all is Palmer’s sensitivity to the peculiarities of the autumnal coastal light, which saturates the foreground and all but dissolves the distant horizon in its glittering evanescence.

XIX. The Charente at Port-Bertaud, by Gustave Courbet (1819–77). 1862. 54 by 65 cm. Given by Mme Barrère, 1999 (PD.14–1999). In May 1862, Courbet travelled to the Saintonge region in western France, bordering the river Charente, at the invitation of Etienne Baudry, a witty and convivial young lawyer, who owned a château at Rochemont. After staying with Baudry, Courbet spent a short period of time at the nearby hamlet of Port-Bertaud, where he painted this view, showing the Charente at its high watermark.

XX. Rocks at PortCoton, the Lion Rock, Belle-Ile, by Claude Monet (1840–1926). 1886. 65 by 81 cm. Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum (PD.27–1998). Monet visited the west coast of Brittany for the first time in the autumn of 1886, basing himself in the hamlet of Kervilahouen, only five hundred metres from the rugged coastline. He welcomed the challenge of painting the ‘sinister, tragic’ qualities of the Breton landscape, so different from the Normandy he had known from his youth. Adjusting his palette accordingly, he paints the rocks in resonant contrasts of browns, bottle greens, russets and mauves to give the patinated appearance which the writer Gustave Geffroy described as one of the most characteristic features of the coast. the burl ington m agazin e

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XXI. Young woman seated, by Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920). c.1914–15. 75 by 52.4 cm. Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum (PD.29–1998). Modigliani turned from sculpture to painting in about 1914–15. The sitter was formerly identified as Beatrice Hastings, although the features bear little resemblance to other portraits of her by Modigliani. The portrait shows the influence of the stone sculpture and caryatid drawings that he was executing around 1911–12, while the expressionless gaze has the haunting effect of the African masks which influenced his work at around this time. This work was once in the collection of Sir Michael Sadler, one of the most significant collectors of contemporary art in Britain at the beginning of the twentieth century.

XXII. Ancestor I, Ancestor II and Parent I from The family of man, by Barbara Hepworth (1903–75). 1970. Bronze, 277 cm. high; 272 cm. high and 267 cm. high. Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum to stay in situ at Snape, Suffolk (M.13–15–2000). Hepworth’s Family of man comprised a spaced group of nine composite vertical figures, which have been described as an ‘archetypal symbol of human society’. After her death, at the request of Benjamin Britten, these three figures were installed on the edge of the salt marshes behind the Maltings Concert Hall at Snape, where they will remain on loan from the Museum.

XXIII. Garden2, by Mark Quinn (b.1964). 2000. One of a set of eight digital inkjet prints with varnish on Somerset Velvet Enhanced paper, 80.6 by 125.4 cm. Signed artist’s proofs, 2/5. Proofed at the Senicio Press, Charlbury, and printed at Estampa Digital, Centro de Investigación y Desarollo Calcografía Nacional, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernándo, Madrid. Published by the Paragon Press, London. Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum (P.62–2002). These vivid yet subtly considered prints are an extension of Quinn’s work in ‘freezing’ flowers and plants in refrigerated tanks of silicone. The silicone both preserves the flowers and intensifies their colours, making them seem ‘hyper-real’. In Garden2, this was taken further by the proofing and printing process.

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