HC Deb 14 March 1856 vol 141 c150

said, he begged to ask the hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Treasury if it was true that £1,977 had been paid for the picture of "The Adoration of the Magi," recently placed in the National Gallery, and whether that sum included all the expenses occasioned to the country by the acquisition of that picture; by whose recommendation the picture had been purchased, and on what authority it was stated to be painted by Paolo Veronese?


in reply said, that £1,977 was the whole sum which this picture would cost, with the exception of £2 2s. 2d. paid for its carriage from Paris. All other expenses were paid by the seller. The purchase of the picture was recommended solely by the director of the National Gallery, but was acquiesced in and decided upon by the trustees. Whatever difference of opinion there might be as to the value of the picture, there could, he thought, be none as to its authenticity, for it stood in the position of being, perhaps, the best authenticated picture of the kind in the world. In Venice, where the picture had remained from the time of its being painted up to a very recent date, it was well known to have been the production of Paolo Veronese; and besides that, it was mentioned as his work and as belonging to the church from which it had been taken, in a book which was published in 1581, eight years after the date at which it was painted, and seven years before the death of the artist. In the British Museum there was a print of the picture, which was engraved in the year 1649.