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European Painting & Sculpture

The Chrysler’s collection of European painting and sculpture constitutes one of its greatest strengths. It also ranks among the finest and most distinctive collections of its kind in the United States. Donated in large part by Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., the European collection ranges from jewel-like Renaissance panel paintings by Marx Reichlich and Jan Gossart to bold early modernist canvases by Henri Matisse and Georges Braque. The shape of the collection reflects the extraordinary breadth of Mr. Chrysler’s artistic interests, his foresight, and his particular passion for Italian and French painting.

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Paolo Caliari, called Veronese
Italian (1528–1588)
The Virgin and Child with Angels Appearing to Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul, the Hermit, 1562
Oil on canvas

This altarpiece was one of three works by Veronese commissioned in 1562 by the Benedictine monks at San Benedetto Po, near Mantua.  They were completed in only three months' time and installed in their respective chapels in the sumptuous church. Napoleon's troops confiscated the three pictures, along with countless other works of art, during the French occupation of northern Italy in the late 1790s.  The Virgin and Child with Angels Appearing to Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul, the Hermit eventually surfaced in France, where it was purchased by Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., in 1954.  The two other paintings appeared in England in the nineteenth century:  one was unfortunately destroyed by fire, but The Consecration of Saint Nicholas was acquired by the National Gallery in London.