Items listed in Le Schonix as being displayed at King John's House in 1894, and what is currently known about them

Margaritone d'Arezzo Madonna and Child Enthroned National Gallery of Art from wikipedia

One of the few detailed accounts of its contents published elsewhere, that by le Schonix, suggests that the following paintings were on display:

1. 'Egyptian paintings of mummy heads of the twentieth and twenty-sixth dynasties (B.C. 1200-528), and one of the first century A.D.'

2. '... three Graeco-Egyptian mummy paintings of the second or third century'. This probably refers to three images framed in one, Add.9455vol2_p573 /3 described as Antiquities &c from Egypt bought of the Rev Greville Chester 2 Russell Chambers Bury St W. ... Frame of Pictures consisting of portions of mummy portraits from the Fayoum Egypt £6.0.0

3. '... an early Greek wall-painting' Add.9455vol3_p756 /1, described as 'Bought of Evelyn Wright 144 Wardour Street ... Fragment of Ancient Greek Fresco Extreme length 10 1/2 in Width 6 1/2” Found at Larnaca Cyprus Formerly in the collection of M. Dupont Auberville' purchased for £15 in 1891. The Pitt-Rivers family catalogue also describes this as fresco.

4. 'the earliest European picture is one of the Virgin and Child, by Margaritone, of Arezzo in Italy (1716-93)[sic], and signed by him'. In the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue this is described as being 'placed in this series to represent the decline of art in the 13th century. There is a similar painting to this with the same inscription in the National Gallery, London'.

See here, fl. circa 1250-1290. According to Wikipedia little is known of his life, the site shows a Madonna and Child, painted around 1270, from the Samuel Kress collection owned by the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (see illustration). This painting was previously owned by Pitt-Rivers, see 'Recent Additions to the Kress Collection' by R. Langton Douglas, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 88, No. 517 (Apr., 1946) page 81 and the National Gallery of Art's own site about the painting [1952.5.12], where it gives the provenance. The painting may have been sold by George Pitt-Rivers in 1926.

Anne Halpern of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, gives the following information: 'Executed for the church of a Benedictine monastery in the area of Arezzo, possibly for the Badia delle Sante Flora and Lucilla near the city walls; probably art market, Rome; acquired by William Blundell Spence [1814–1900], Florence and London, by 1859; Ralph Nicholson Wornum [1812–1877], London; Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers [1827–1900], Rushmore, Wiltshire; by descent to his grandson, George Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers [1890-1966], Hinton St. Mary, Dorset, ? by 1926; Robert Langton Douglas [1864–1951], London; Philip Lehman [1861–1947], New York, and/or Robert Lehman [1892-1969], New York; sold September 1943 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York.' Please note that the gallery is not clear when the painting was first sold by the Pitt-Rivers family: it was seen in 1926 by the Duveen representatives. Once the gallery has completed its work on the provenance this information will be updated.  We are very grateful to Anne for this information. [1]

5. '... several Greek and Byzantine conventional paintings'. One of these is likely to be Add.9455vol2_p512 /5: 24 June 1889 '[Bought at a sale of Antiquities Coins & Anc. Pottery collected by Canon don Luigi Sciaro J.C. Stevens Auctioneer 38 King St. Covent Garden W.C.] ... [Gold ornaments from the excavations at Tharros Sardinia Carthaginian Egyptian & Phoenician epochs 600 years before Christ] ... Sclaro collection (Contin ... Lot 90 471 Oval minature on copper in  black frame 2 ins long Virgin & child Byzantine style' 12/-.

Master of San Jacopo

6. '... S. Memmi, school of Siena, 1283'. This painting is now attributed to the Master of San Jacopo a Mucciana. Sold Christie's 9 July 1999 lot 60 to an unknown buyer, the following is from their lot notes: 'The Master of San Jacopo a Mucciano (Florence 14th Century) The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine with angels, with Saints Luke, Lawrence, Paul, John the Evangelist, Peter, Matthew, Phillip(?), Mark, two bishop saints, three friar saints, four female martyr saints, and an unidentified saint, inset in eighteen quatrefoils in the integral tabernacle frame tempera on gold ground panel, arched top, the reverse with trompe d'oeil device 21 x 14.1/8 in. (53 x 35.8 cm.) overall Provenance Anon. sale [M. Colnaghi]; Christie's, London, 6 July, 1889, lot 8, as 'S. Memmi' (30 gns. to Lord Pitt-Rivers) and by descent to Captain G. Pitt-Rivers, The Manor House, Hinton St. Mary, Dorset; Christie's, London, 3 May 1929, lot 50, as 'S. Memmi'. S.E. Mauman, London (according to a label on the reverse). Lot Notes The eponymous work of this artist is the large triptych from theChurch of San Jacopo a Mucciano, now in the Museo di Arte Sacra,San Casciano Val di Pesa. The oeuvre of the artist was first identified by Richard Offner in the catalogue of the sale of John D. McIlhenny at Parke-Bernet, New York, 5-7 June 1946, lot 149.Federico Zeri made additions to the oeuvre in his review of the exhibition Arte in Valdelsa a Certaldo, (see Bollettino d'Arte,XLVIII, 1963, p. 247). Professor Boskovits made further additions in his Pittura Fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370-1400,1975, pp. 238-239, note 164. We are grateful to Everett Fahy for the attribution, made on the basis of a photograph; he considers it a characteristic work by the artist (letter, 20 December 1998)'. See image at

7. '... a door of a triptych of the early Italian school', it is impossible to match this without further information.

8. 'the Holy Family, by Palmezzano (1456-1537)'. Marco Palmezzano was an Italian painter and architect belonging to the Forli school. See here which gives his dates as 1460-1539. This link refers to this painting, see image on this page. We are very grateful to Professor Pietro Corsi of Linacre College, University of Oxford, for providing a translation to the site:

'...The painting in the Viretti collection is extremely similar, with the exception of a few details: in it, the original signature, which should have been in the little quad at the centre of the handrail, was cancelled and substituted with the name of Giovanni Bellini. A further version of the painting, that Zeri (1976) judged to be a bottega replica, is located at the Walters Art Gallery of Baltimore (inv. N. 37.505) Another copy of very poor quality, belonged – according to Zeri – to Lord Rivers and to Captain G. Pitt Rivers, kept at Manor House, Hinton St. Mary, Dorset (Christie’s sale, May 3, 1929, n. 53; table 26 ½ x 21 ½ in): the present location is unknown. Grigioni (1956), albeit with many doubts, put forward the name of Giovanni Battista Rossetti, though he grounded his hypothesis on inconsistent elements'.

Sacred family by Palmezzano

The expanded text refers to the illustration on this page which is very similar but not identical to that which was displayed at King John's House.

10. 'the Virgin and St. John, school of Swabia, circa 1460' This image cannot be matched to any further information, the family catalogue makes it clear that the image had the Virgin, grieving, bending forward with St John behind her, both wearing cloaks.

11. '... the Woman taken in Adultery, by Lucas Cranach (1472-1553)'. Versions of this painting, by Lucas Cranach the Younger, are now known to be owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest; and the Hermitage. Compositionally they are very similar to the image shown in the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue.

12. '... the Torments of Hell, and others of a similar subject, by H. Van Alken (1460-1518)'. Another source (a catalogue owned by the Pitt-Rivers family) gives the name as 'H. Van Acken, commonly called Jerome Bosch or Bos', that is Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516). The image is similar to 'The Garden of Earthly Delights', a triptych now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid having been owned from 1593 by the Escorial. Bosch was born Jeroen Anthoniszoon van Aken.

13. 'a Banker and his Wife, and the Prodigal Son, by Quentin Matsys (1466-1531)' - This is definitely Add.9455vol2_p134 /1, bought for £26.15.6 in 1885 and described as 'Objects bought at sale of Works of Art &c the property of Christopher Beckett Denison Esq late of Upper Grosvenor Street ... Lot 49 Oil painting “A Banker and his wife Q. MATSYS Size 36 1/2 in by 27 in. On panel. 2 figures seated at a table counting money. Male in red hat and black coat edged with fur? right hand holds a pen with wh: he is writing in a book. Left ditto raised and holding a coin. The female figure in red jacket brown hood. Her left hand supporting her chin while the right holds a coin.'

Matsys was a Flemish artist, founder of the Antwerp school. Wikipedia think he died a year earlier (in 1530). The Louvre holds a picture called 'The moneylender and his wife', painted in 1514, shown here, which is very similar in theme but different in details and stylistically. According to that site there are 2 pictures like this one at Louvre and one at Windsor. Matsys (sometimes spelt Metsys or Massys) painted several slightly different versions of this image. I think that this is probably a misattribution but this has yet to be confirmed.

The Prodigal Son can not be matched, but shows three figures.

14. 'two of the school of Holbein (1493-1554)', another source (the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue) suggests that these 2 images were portraits of 'A Lady' and Jane Seymour.

15. 'Modesty and Vanity, by Luini (1460-1530)'. Bernardino Luini (circa 1480/82-1532), northern Italian painter in Da Vinci's circle, according to here. A version of this painting is now held by San Diego Museum of Art. It seems to have alternative names, San Diego call it The Conversion of the Magdalen. A similar image is shown here. The family catalogue makes it clear that the Pitt-Rivers painting was very similar though the figure on the right as you look at it was standing more in profile.

16. '... the Resurrection and Judgement, circa 1480', the Pitt-Rivers family album describes this as being 'Early Italian', however the artist and image have not been clearly identified.

17. '... the Crucifixion, by Hans Shaenflein, 1487'. This painting has not been identified. This is probably Hans Leonhard Schäufelein (circa 1480 – 1540), German painter and engraver, born in Nuremberg, see here. The Pitt-Rivers family catalogue shows an image of Christ carrying the cross

18. '... Jesus in the Garden, and another, by Hans Burgkmair (1474-1559)'. Hans Burgkmair the elder (1473–1531) was a German painter and wood engraver, see here. I cannot identify the images or confirm the artist. The Pitt-Rivers family album describes (presumably) the first image as being 'The Agony in the Garden), the second is described as 'The Kiss of Judas'.

19. '... a Virgin and Child, school of Siena, circa 1500'.

20. '... one of Roselli, school of Florence (1578-1651)'. Another source (the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue) gives the source as C. Rosselli,  Cosimo Rosselli, (1439- after 1506), see here, the image of a Virgin and Child with angels has not yet been matched.

21. 'Paying Tithes, by P. Brueghel the elder (1530-69)'. Actually the image is by his son Pieter Bruegel the younger (1564-1637/8), many versions are known, see here for more information about the different versions.

22. '... a Martyrdom, German school, circa 1500' - this is possibly Add.9455vol1_p55 /3, described as '1 Picture Martyrdom of Christians' which had previously been on display at South Kensington Museum, it is impossible to match this without further information.

23. '... a Descent into Hell, and an Ascent into Heaven, by Frans Floris (1517-70)'. Frans Floris, or more correctly Frans de Vriendt, called Floris (1517-1570) was a Flemish painter, see here. This is Add.9455vol2_p138 /6 12 June 1885 Description of object: [Objects bought at sale of Works of Art &c the property of Christopher Beckett Denison Esq late of Upper Grosvenor Street] ... Beckett Denison Sale (continued) ... Lot 900 Pair of paintings on panel by Jean Cousin “The Last Judgement” in black and gold frames. From Hamilton Palace Collection (Lot 1123) No 1 Seated figure of Death under cloak with 3 female nude figures standing and numerous others. At top seated figure of Christ surrounded by angels. This picture apparently represents those saved. No 2 group of figures, monsters, devils illustrating those cast into Hell. Price:  11.11.0 Exhibited at King Johns House. Note changed attribution between Jean Cousin and Frans Floris

24. '... the Miracle of the Slave, by Tintoretto (1517-94)'. In the Pitt-Rivers catalogue it is described as being 'believed to be the small picture painted by him in preparation for the large picture at Venice'. An italian painter, Tintoretto (1518–1594), real name Jacopo Comin, see here. To find out more about the original final painting, see here. Currently housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, northern Italy, it was originally commissioned for the Scuola Grande di San Marco, a confraternity in the city. It portrays an episode of the life of St. Mark, patron saint of Venice, taken from Jacopo da Varazze's Golden Legend. The scene shows, in the upper part, the saint intervening to make invulnerable a slave which was going to be martyrized for his veneration of a saint's relics. All the figures are inscribed into an architectonic scenario.

25. '... the Sacking of the Dutch Village, by Alsloot, end of the sixteenth century'. Denis van Alsloot or Denijs van Alsloot (circa 1570–circa 1626) was a Flemish Baroque painter, see here, this painting cannot be identified.

26. '... a Village Festival, by Peter Van Bloemen (1657-1719)'. See here, Pieter van Bloemen, called Standaart (?1657–1720), first name also spelled Peter or Peeter, was a Flemish painter. The painting cannot be identified.

27. '... a Virgin and Child by C. B. Salvi (1605-85)' - This is definitely Add.9455vol2_p332 /1, actually by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (1609-1685), described as 'Pictures bought at Christie’s July 9 1887 ... Lot 98A The Madonna and Child - oval, by SASSO FERRATO From the Collection of the late Charles Meigh Esq', bought for £43.1.0 in 1887.

See here for more information about the artist. The exact image cannot be identified.

28. '... a Skirmish, by Palamedes Stevaerts (1607-38)'. Actually called Palamedes Palamedesz, a Dutch painter. The image cannot be identified.

29. '... a Dog catching a Heron, by Abraham Hordius (1638-95)', actually Abraham Danielsz Hondius (1625-1691), as is confirmed by the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue. An image of this painting, or a similar one is given here.

30. '... a Dutch picture of Horses, after Cuyp (1605-91)', it is impossible to match this without further information.

31. 'Peasants, by Durck Stoop (1660-86)'. Probably Dirk Stoop, (circa 1610-1680), Dutch baroque painter, it is impossible to match this without further information.

32. '... a Canal Scene in Winter, by Van der Heyden (1637-1712)'. Jan van der Heyden, Dutch baroque painter, printer and inventor, see here for further information, the image cannot be identified at the present time.

33. '... the Journey of Emmaus, style of Gaspard Poussin (1613-75)', the image of this in the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue appears to be very similar to an image by Claud Lorrain with the same name.

34. 'Vandyke when Young, by Peter Tyssens (1616-83)', I cannot identify this painter or painting. I can find reference to a A. Tyssens and a Jan-Baptiste Tyssens (1660-1710). Antoon or Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) was a Flemish baroque artist. This appears to be a variation on his self-portrait, see Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Gemäldegalerie Wien.

35.  '... a Village Festival, by Thomas Van Kessel (1677-1741)'. Probably Jean Thomas Nicolas Van Kessel, same dates. A similar painting by the same artist is shown here. This particular image cannot be identified.

36. '... a Fish saleswoman, by G. Morland (1763-1805)'. George Morland, English painter of animals and rustic scenes, see here, his death is given as 1804, the painting cannot be identified.

37. '... two pictures of Hudibras, unknown'. Hudibras was a mock heroic poem by Samuel Butler, see here. Note that the artist has been identified as William Hogarth in the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue.

38. '... the Repulse of the Dutch at Tillbury in 1667, by A. Ragon', I cannot identify this painter or painting.

39. '... the Siege of Pamplona in 1813, by G. C. Morley, 1849', I cannot identify this painter or painting.

40. '... a Coast Scene, by T.B. Hardy' , Thomas Bush Hardy, a painter of seascapes, 1847-1897. See here for more information, this particular image cannot be identified.

41. 'Fish and Copper Vessel, by Cammill Muller 1880', the Pitt-Rivers family catalogue describes the artist as 'Camille Muller de Treport, born in Paris, died 1880 at the age of 19, this particular image cannot be identified. From the catalogue is shows a dead fish on a table in front of an empty copper vessel slightly upended at the back to show its interior

In addition, several authors note that Pitt-Rivers used furniture, ceramics and needlework to decorate King John's House. Most of the items listed in the catalogue from Cambridge University Library are of these kinds.

There are quite a few other paintings which are not listed above but are included in the catalogue of the second collection, the vast majority of them are shown to have been located at Rushmore, some were exhibited at Farnham Museum. The ones that we know were displayed at King John's House are discussed here.


[1] Anne Halpern at the time of writing in July 2010 was assisting the preparation of Miklós Boskovits' catalogue for the gallery's thirteenth and fourteenth century Italian paintings.

Bibliography for this article

le Schonix, R. 1894. 'The Museums at Farnham, Dorset, and at King John's House, Tollard Royal', The Antiquary 30, 166-71

Alison Petch, June 2010, amended and updated August 2010 [regarding Margaritone d'Arezzo], further amended September 2010, additional information from private family art catalogue added December 2010.

If you have any further information about these paintings please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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